Some Wiltshire Council fees and charges to get way above inflation increases for 2017-2018

Written by Tony Millett on .

One flea is one too many...One flea is one too many...Faced with another major cut in funding from central government, Wiltshire Council is bridging part of its budget gap for 2017-2018 with over inflation rises in the fees and charges for some of its services - those that are discretionary rather than statutory.

Some of the steepest increases come in the Council's pest control services for domestic premises.  Clearing fleas from up to three bedrooms will cost ten per cent more - but if you receive a council tax reduction, the charge will rise by 42 per cent to £71.  About the same ratio applies to carpet moths, ants, cockroaches and bedbugs.  

But for some other pests the increase on the concessionary charges is less steep.  The per hour concessionary charge for clearing mink and rabbits rises by 33.33 per cent and a two week treatment for squirrels goes up by 35 per cent.

They say there are three certainties in life birth, taxes and death.  Birth remains in the hands of the NHS - free at the point of delivery.  But council tax is almost certainly going up.  And now we learn that most charges for burials in Wiltshire Council cemeteries and other related costs will be going up by about five per cent.

Marriage or civil partnership is not so certain, but for 'small registration office ceremonies' the costs will rise by 25 per cent to £150. Charges for other ceremonies will rise by between ten and seventeen per cent.

Although most of the charges levied in libraries - overdue books and so on - are small, they too will rise by about five per cent.  And fees for pitches in Marlborough market will rise by 5.6 per cent per metre and by six per cent for each vehicle parked by the market stalls.

The charge for emptying a septic tank - of up to 1,800 gallons - goes up by five per cent.  But the 20p charge remains the same for using 'public conveniences' - though we thought Wiltshire Council no longer ran any of those 'facilities'.

The annual membership for the Shopmobility scheme will rise by 6.3 per cent and the daily hire charge for equipment will rise by 5.7 per cent - to £3.70.

More serious will be the rises in home to school transport - primary and secondary school rates whether under or over three miles will rise by about five per cent.

There are no increases in the charges on applications for planning permission at all their various stages.  However, if you are making enquiries or asking advice before you apply for planning permission, the charges are going up by between five and ten per cent.

And businesses not only have increased business rates to worry about, they will also be paying about five per cent more for the collection and disposal of their commercial waste.

These increeases have to be approved at the next meeting of the full Council - on February 21.