Price hikes in council’s ‘fit-for-purpose’ budget

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

Drivers, council employees and voluntary services are set to be hit in the budget put forward by Boston Borough Council’s cabinet this week – but council tax will be frozen once again.

The leading body of the authority approved the draft budget for the next five years at its meeting earlier this afternoon, with finance portfolio-holder Coun Raymond Singleton-McGuire saying it was ‘fit-for-purpose’ in these difficult times.

Among the proposals are plans to increase parking tariffs by 20 pence, extend charging periods to begin at 8am, rather than 9am, and introduce an overnight parking charge of £1.

Prices at the Geoff Moulder Leisure Centre are also set to rise, as are crematorium costs.

There are also plans to renegotiate employee terms and conditions, which the council hopes will save around £668,000 over the next five years. The South Lincolnshire CVS could lose out on £20,000 in the proposals, as funding is reallocated to the local Citizens Advice Bureau because the council believes there will be a larger strain of the services of the latter as time goes on.

However, a council tax freeze grant has enabled the authority to keep the fee at an average £168 a month for a band D property for 2013/14.

Coun Singleton-McGuire told the cabinet: “This has been a very difficult year for setting the budget, but this is a prudent and necessary budget for the medium term.”

See next week’s paper for more.