Parking charges, garden waste collection and council tax all set to rise as Lancaster City Council reveals new budget plans

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Increased parking fees, council tax rises and garden waste charges are among Lancaster City Council’s budget proposals for 2024/25.

Councillors say tough budget decisions last year and other measures are paying off, allowing the council some limited opportunity to respond to public opinion and wishes this year.

Morecambe’s Platform venue is expected to come up with new, independent business plans for the 2024/25 financial year which could shape ticket prices or other arrangements, while face-to-face customer service desks at Lancaster and Morecambe town halls may return to pre-Covid opening hours.

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Car park fees for city council-owned sites could increase for the first time in two years by around 10 per cent, leading councillors said this week.

Lancaster Town Hall.Lancaster Town Hall.
Lancaster Town Hall.

Elsewhere, the garden waste collection charge, which has only risen by £1 since 2018, could go up to £45.

Lancaster City Council said it needs to raise income to fund its frontline services and address rising costs.

The proposals are based on an expected rise in the city council's share of council tax by the maximum allowable by government, 2.99 per cent.

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This would mean a £7.45 annual increase for a Band D property.

Although Lancaster City Council collects council tax on behalf of various public authorities, it only keeps 11p out of every pound. The majority, 73p per pound, goes to Lancashire County Council. The Lancashire Police & Crime Commissioner gets 12p and Lancashire Combined Fire Authority gets 4p per pound.

The council has agreed to continue 100 per council tax support for those on low incomes and most affected by the cost of living crisis. It is one of the few local authorities in England to do so.

Business rates for smaller business will remain frozen, with an increase only for very large businesses, such as supermarkets.

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The proposals will have to be agreed by full council at the budget meeting in February.

Coun Tim Hamilton-Cox, cabinet member with responsibility for finance, said: “We need income for a whole range of things that are an advantage for residents and businesses.

"This ranges from essential services like waste collection and street cleaning to other things which people also really want, from festivals and music to supporting the Dukes Theatre in Lancaster and The Platform in Morecambe.”

The council is keeping The Platform in-house, but managers will make their own decisions on ticket prices and other financial decisions, Coun Hamilton-Cox added.

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Coun Caroline Jackson, deputy leader of Lancaster City Council, said there are also increased pressures on councils to provide housing services for homeless people and refugees.

She said: “We are well aware of still how vulnerable many residents are. There has been no let up with the cost of living crisis and housing issues. While we expect some drop in energy prices, people are still very vulnerable.”

Coun Jackson said a task force is looking at city centre issues including empty properties above shops for potential housing to ease housing pressures and also improve the city centre with an increased population.

The process towards setting the new budget will include discussions with the full council and public consultation. A public briefing is planned for Monday January 22 at 6pm To register, visit

The Budget and Performance panel will consider the proposals on Wednesday January 31 at Morecambe Town Hall at 6pm.