Charges set to rise on Fenland services as report clears Overview and Scrutiny hurdle

Taxi sign

Taxi sign - Credit: Archant

Charges are set to rise across a raft of services at Fenland District Council after its Overview and Scrutiny Committee recommended increases set out at its meeting this week.

The committee heard many of the charges will remain the same or face just small increases but there are one or two exceptions including taxi firms.

New drivers will have to pay an extra £25 for their licences putting the cost up to £105 - a rise of over 31 per cent.

Registering a new vehicle will cost taxi drivers an additional £20 - up 16 per cent on this year’s costs meaning they will have to pay £140.

There is a rise of just £1 for simply renewing a licence.

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Councillor Virginia Bucknor said she had been “bombarded” by Wisbech taxi drivers concerned at the 31 per cent rise especially as all other charges had seen rises within the rate of inflation.

But Councillor David Oliver, Portfolio holder, explained the rise was simply for new licences and vehicles and were needed to cover the increase in costs of administrative work associated with these licences.

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“It is for new taxi driver licences and it is down to an increase in cost administration work such as producing the necessary signage plates,” said Cllr Oliver.

Councillor Steve Tierney added: “It appears some incorrect information has got out, but now it has been put straight.”

Fenland Council expects to boost income next year by nearly £57,000 with the proposed rises.

Rob Bridge, Chief Finance Office, explained the forecast economic climate dictated charges across the council’s services.

Mr Bridge said the council needed to make savings in the coming year of just over £1 million and these increased fees would help.

Many of the charges collected by Fenland Council – such as planning fees and Licensing Act and Gambling Act charges- are regulated by the Government and the council has no say over them most of these will have no increases.

Leisure centre charges will go up by two per cent, rounded to the nearest 5p if the full council now approves the recommendations put forward by Overview and Scrutiny.

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