West Norfolk Council’s King’s Lynn offices.
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Car parking charges and council tax bills are set to rise across West Norfolk as the borough council prepares its budget for the coming year.

Both bills have been frozen by the borough for the last five years, but government funding cuts mean across the board increases are likely.

“For five years we have frozen council tax and car parking charges, and have absorbed inflationary increases to protect our residents,” said council leader Nick Daubney.

He added that the government would no longer be providing grants to support council tax freezes.

“This has forced us to look differently at our budget this year,” added Mr Daubney.

The borough council only takes a small proportion of the annual council tax, with Norfolk County Council setting the majority of the bill.

“The increase is much lower than the increases being presented by many of our neighbours,” said Mr Daubney.

The proposed 0.8 per cent increase would see the average Band D bill rise by 90p a year, for the borough. The county council is currently setting its budget and the rise in its council tax requirement has yet to be decided.

Last year, the county bill was £1,145.07 for a Band D property.

The financial plan from 2016 to 2020 shows further increases of 1.9 per cent from 2017. A report to go before all the members of the council on February 25, says there will some ‘difficult political decisions.’

“It is very clear that the organisation and the extent of services it is able to provide will look very different by 2020.”

The council, along with all local authorities is due to receive all of the revenue from the borough’s business rates, rather than a proportion, but the amount will not cover other funding reductions, the report says.

Car parking cost increases, the first since 2010, will see the price of all-day parking in King’s Lynn rise from £2.20 to £2.50 (before 10am); the cost of an hour rises to £1.60 from £1.40 while in Hunstanton the cost will also rise by up to 40p.

The cost of other services, ranging from cremations to hiring the town hall, will also increase. Brown bins, Hackney Carriage and private hire licences will also go up if the council approves the budget in February.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on encouraging businesses and housing growth,” said Mr Daubney.

He added that the council would also be working to find other ways to reduce its budget while ensuring West Norfolk

The figures will be presented to the cabinet for approval on February 2 before going to full council on February 25.

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