Hike in park­ing charges to help coun­cil bud­get

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

ASH­FORD coun­cil has re­vealed it needs to make sav­ings of nearly £3.5 mil­lion over the next five years.

De­spite an ex­pected rise in coun­cil tax next year and an in­creased pot of cash from the gov­ern­ment, the coun­cil says it needs to tighten its purse strings. Around £750,000 needs to be saved in the 2010/11 bud­get.

The au­thor­ity hopes to raise cash by up­ping park­ing charges by 10p from April which will raise an ex­tra £50,000 a year. An­other £40,000 in sav­ings could be made by trans­fer­ring the own­er­ship of pub­lic toi­lets to parish coun­cils. Jobs not filled will also be axed.

En­ergy sav­ing mea­sures are also to be im­ple­mented. ABC spends about £600,000 on util­ity bills in­clud­ing £220,000 a year for elec­tric­ity and £100,000 for gas.

The coun­cil plans to ap­ply for a loan to in­stall Volt­age Op­ti­mi­sa­tion Tech­nol­ogy which cuts the volt­age from 240V to 220V. This is ex­pected to save the coun­cil eight per cent on its an­nual bills.

The draft bud­get will go to the over­view and scru­tiny com­mit­tee be­fore its con­clu­sions go back to the ex­ec­u­tive in Fe­bru­ary for adop­tion. To view the bud­get visit www.ash­ford. gov.uk

Cllr Michael Claughton

Jeremy Clark­son

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