PARKING charges at some council-run car parks in Colchester will increase next year after councillors agreed the authority’s fees and charges plan for next year.

From April, fees are set to rise at several car parks in the town centre and across wider borough, including St John’s, St Mary’s, Priory Street and car parks on Mersea Island.

Prices will increase by between 10p and £1.10, depending on how long drivers remain in the car park.

Fees will stay the same at Middleborough, Rowan House, Sheepen Road, Brittania, Vineyard Street, Butt Road, Napier Road, Mill Road and Mill Pond in Dedham, Cooks Yard in Wivenhoe and Leisure World in Colchester.

Charges will also go up for street trading pitches, sports pitches, the cost of a house of multi occupancy licence and an entrance ticket to Colchester Castle but other charges, such as the cost of a High Street market pitch, will remain the same.

The new fees and charges were approved unanimously at a meeting of the authority’s cabinet on Monday.

Read more >>> How much Colchester car parks will cost in 2021

David King, Colchester councillor for business and resources, said the increases were necessary as the council looks to make up its budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “There is an absolute financial imperative which makes it necessary for us to nudge these sums of money up which we are asking residents to contribute to help support the services we run.

“We are doing it deliberately because we do need to raise income.

“This year we are balancing the books and taking action where we need to and where we can to reduce our costs and taking some really uncomfortable decisions about staffing levels in future years and we will be coming back to this again.

“Some of the fees have not gone up, some of them are shaped by national legislation, where they have been adjusted and we have done so in a way many will see is reasonable.”

He added: “We’re doing our best to strike a balance and to be reasoned in what we do to ensure where there is sensitivities and need and to shape our measures accordingly

“We are positive about making our way out of this crisis but it is right fees and charges go up.”

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