Free After Three’ sweetener as Flintshire parking and garden waste fees to go up
‘Free after three’ parking is coming to Flintshire’s town centres, but car park fees are going up.
The council’s Labour-led cabinet has rubber-stamped a hike in car parking charges.
But balancing this, authority run car parks will be free after 3pm from Monday to Saturday. The increases will come in from October 1.
Also being increased after cabinet approval is the fee paid by residents for garden waste being collected.
After several years of charges remaining the same, brown bin collection fees will go up by £3 taking the £32 fee to £35 before March 1, and from £35 to £38 for subscriptions on or after March 1.
Introducing the report proposing the fee increases, cabinet member for finance, Holywell West Cllr Paul Johnson explained that they were in line with inflation and the council needed to recover costs.
He said: “As a council we’ve got a wide range of services and some of these services are chargeable and contribute to our medium-term financial strategy.
“We review fees and charges annually to ensure they achieve full cost recovery.
“This year, as always, fees and charges have been reviewed in line with inflation.”
On the ‘free after three’ initiative, Cllr Johnson added: “The intention is to encourage residents and businesses to spend more time in our town centres for shopping and leisure, which in turn supports our business and local high streets.”
Deputy leader of the council, Llanfynydd Cllr Dave Hughes, who was chairing the meeting in the absence of leader Flint Castle Cllr Ian Roberts, noted a correction to the car park charge increases contained within the report to cabinet.
He confirmed that for a 90 minute stay the fee will increase from 30p to 50p, and for a two hour stay the fee will increase from 50p to 70p.
These charges will apply from 8am to 3pm, but parking in council-run town centre car parks after that time period will be free.
Before the meeting, the council issued an explanation for the increase in garden waste collection charges.
A spokesman said: “The council has not increased garden waste collection charges for several years, the last review took place in 2018/19.
“The proposed increase brings the charge in line with comparable local authorities and reflect inflationary costs.
“Garden waste collections are not a statutory service, but the council recognises the service is extremely popular and highly valued by thousands of residents across the county.
“The proposed increase in the charge will ensure that the council continue to subsidise the cost of providing this valued service to those households who want it.
“The new charges will equate to an increase of 15p per collection per household.”
Two recommendations were presented to the cabinet;
To approve the schedule of fees and charges.
Cabinet agrees to customer friendly version of the schedule be approved and published.
The cabinet voted in favour of the proposals.
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).