As a New Year present (actually passed before Christmas, but this hardly feels like something fitting for the season of goodwill) it seems that Hillingdon Borough Council has decided to increase the fees and costs for a number of items outside of the proposed increase to council tax. Remember that this is a Conservative council with a Conservative-run government, so any claims they might once have had of being a party of low taxes are utterly ruined, as their own council now claims that they are unable to pay for basic services through the combination of council tax and grants from central government.
If you are interested, here’s a list of fees and charges they are proposing to increase:
Increase from £2.10 to £10, an increase of 376%.
Increases of up to 25% on all charges.
Cost of a search to increase from £15 to £45, an increase of 200%.
Average increase of 20% across all such fees.
Cost increase of 30% for provision of export certificates, attributed solely to Brexit, a Conservative policy.
Uplifts in cost of between 10p and 50p an hour. Total effect not listed.
New charge of £75 for a permit application, increased cost of 9% for additional permits.
Increase in cost from £10.50 to £13.00 for 10 vouchers. Increase of 24%.
Increase in the cost of collecting bulky waste items from £30 to £48, an increase of 60%.
Obviously an important one for the council, which has decided to introduce a discounted rate for 3-ball and 4-ball groups. Clearly a very important matter to offer discounts on at a time when so many other costs are increasing.
Increase of about 30% across the board.
Increase of about 30% for all non-statutory marriage-related fees.
Increase of 30.22% to £237
Increase of around 30% for either midweek (to £136.50) or Saturday (to £170.75).
Increase in cost to £300, representing an increase of 30%
Increase of about 30% for any room.
There are a lot of 30% increases for things like permits, library borrowing, mostly up 30% or so.
Full details available in this document:
In short, this is a result of a national government that does not do enough to fund local councils coupled with a local government that clearly didn’t set aside finances in years where the country was doing well. In both cases, the party responsible is the Conservatives, who currently represent 100% of Hillingdon’s councillors and also a significant majority of MPs at national level.
Current parliament of the UK, courtesy of Wikipedia
This cost of living crisis is already bad enough without a council that belongs to the party responsible for the national crisis (not to mention the other crises going on) increasing costs by more than the already staggeringly high rate of inflation.