More parking charges and less lollipop patrols - how Hartlepool council aims to balance the books
Increases to the costs of parking permits, changes to green waste collections and a reduction in school crossing patrols are all part of Hartlepool council saving plans for next year.
The £2.6million savings proposals were approved by majority vote at a Hartlepool Borough Council meeting on Thursday to ensure a balanced budget for 2022-23.
A core council tax rise of 1.9%, along with a 3% increase in the adult social care precept, had already been approved.
Cllr Shane Moore, council leader, shared concerns over cuts but said “they have simply no choice” due to a shortage of national funding over recent years.
Cllr Sue Little raised concerns over plans to increase charges “200%” for residential parking permit zones, with proposed bands £15 for the first permit, £25 for the second and £40 for any more.
She said: “That’s a lot of money for families who have been struggling for the last nearly 20 months now due to Covid.”
Current prices are £5 for the first, £10 for the second, £20 for a third and £30 for further permits, which reports stated were “very low” compared to other councils regionally, and the increase could save £25,000.
The budget will see increased parking charges in Seaton Carew, which will be applied all year, instead of the current April to October seasonal charges, estimated to save £75,000.
New price points will be £1.50 for two hours, £2 for two to four hours and £4 for all day, up from £1, £1.50 and £2 respectively.
The budget also includes reducing the number of school crossing patrols offered from 28 to 19, saving £32,000.
A council report said it was a “difficult exercise” however there were “nine sites they could potentially lose”, although for academy sites impacted a “buy back” service is to be offered.
As part of the budget, garden waste collections will move permanently to a four weekly rota, and run for one month less a year, saving £100,000.
When brown bin collections resumed in April 2021, council chiefs said this would take place every four weeks initially, instead of the usual two, due to Covid-19 pressures.
Cllr Moore said: “I share concerns that we are having to make these savings and cuts however we simply have no choice.”