Northants County Council needs to save £66m next year

County Hall in Northampton

County Hall in Northampton

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People could see an increase in fees and charges for some services as Northamptonshire County Council looks to save £66 million next year as part of its draft budget.

The council is facing a huge financial challenge and in order to safeguard frontline services, it is proposed to introduce a small inflationary rise in charges for adult social care services, civil partnership and marriage ceremonies and parking at country parks.

There would also be a seven to eight per cent increase in course fees at adult residential college Knuston Hall.

Cllr Bill Parker, county council cabinet member for finance, said: “The financial challenge we are facing is immense and we simply cannot continue to deliver our services in the same way we have in the past.

“This means we are having to increase the amount we charge our customers for some services.

“As an authority, we must look towards becoming more self-financing because we can no longer rely on funding from central government and council tax, with demand for our services exceeding our income.

“These fee increases are largely in line with inflation and will enable the council to best serve the needs of the people of Northamptonshire.”

The fees for a marriage or civil partnership ceremony would be streamlined, with the cost of a ceremony in an approved venue increasing to between £325 and £490 (dependant on the day and date) and fees for a marriage or civil partnership ceremony at a Registration Service ceremony room being increased to the same level.

Adult social care customers can expect a 1% increase in service charges, which is in line with inflation, while parking charges at country parks would rise by 10p to £2.70 a day.

In addition, a peak time charge of £3 per day would be introduced on Sundays and bank holidays from April to August to reflect the greater length of stay on those peak days.

The draft budget, published today, is subject to a six week consultation.