Charges could potentially be introduced for parking in country parks in Flintshire, it has been revealed.
Flintshire Council is weighing up its options on whether to introduce fees for some services which are currently free.
It comes as the local authority faces a funding gap of £13.3m for the next financial year.
A £1 daily parking charge was introduced at three country parks in neighbouring Wrexham last year.
The possibility of asking visitors to pay at country parks in Flintshire was raised at a meeting of backbench politicians held yesterday.
During a discussion on how the council generates income, Liberal Democrat councillor Hilary McGuill questioned why it does not currently ask for fees at locations such as Wepre Park in Connah’s Quay.
In response, Flintshire’s chief executive Colin Everett said such a move was being considered, but stressed no decision had been made.
He said: “We have been considering options around currently uncharged areas like country parks.
“Whether there’s an appetite will be a later decision, but that’s down to cabinet advised by environment scrutiny to set a policy.”
The authority’s current policy is not to charge in car parks with less than 50 spaces.
Steve Jones, chief officer for Streetscene and transport, told members of the corporate resources scrutiny committee it would be difficult to justify the cost of installing payment machines at smaller car parks.
During the meeting, councillors also discussed a possible move to increase the fee for garden waste collections from £30 to £35 from March next year.
The council stopped offering the service for free in April 2018 and Mr Everett said the possible rise was being considered to meet the cost of inflation.
A discount of £32 will be offered for residents who pay online before the collection cycle starts.
Mr Everett said: “At environment scrutiny this week, there was a discussion on the fees and charges for the garden waste service.
“We’re not changing the service completely, but we said two years ago that we need an indexation policy because £30 will no longer recover costs as they increase.”
Councillors agreed to support an ongoing review of the authority’s income generation policy to try and achieve full cost recovery for services.
If the increase in the garden waste charge goes ahead, it could net the authority an extra £130,000.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).