Council tax will rise in High Peak by nearly 3%


High Peak Borough Council is to increase council tax and charge people more for parking their cars, going for a swim and even burying a loved one.

The rises were voted in by councillors during a meeting at the Pavilion Gardens earlier this week, and will see the local authority’s portion of council tax on an average band D property jump by 2.9 per cent.

When added to the Derbyshire County Council, police and fire service elements, this will amount to an overall increase for the next financial year of 4.83 per cent.

Leader of the borough council’s Labour opposition, Councillor Anthony Mckeown, said: “I understand the council is in a difficult position, but the knock-on effects go deeper and will be felt for years to come as we face more austerity cuts.

“The car parking rise is bad news and could drive people to out of town retail parks where they don’t have to pay. This could then have a knock-on effect on small business and independent traders and places to eat.

“With the pinch being felt in all aspects, people will not want to pay more to park.

“If we were in charge we would still be faced with the same problem of making the books balance, but I hope the council is still going to offer the best service it can.”

An increase in service charges will be brought in from April 1 and include leisure activities, with the cost of an adult swim rising from £3.60 to £4 for non-members, and to £3.75 for members.

Junior and student swims will rise from £2.15 to £2.30, or to £2.20 depending on membership, and an OAP swim will now be £2.30 or £2.60.

Motorist will also feel the pinch on council-run car parks as prices increase. On Market Street in New Mills, the first hour used to be free but will now will be 20p. Motorists wanting to stay up to two hours will now be charged 70p instead of 55p, up to four hours will cost drivers £1.80 instead of £1.60 and a stay longer than four hours will rise from £2.20 to £2.40.

In Buxton’s standard council-run car parks, less than 60 minutes will now cost 20p more - taking the price to £1. All other time slots will increase by 20p, taking up to two hours to £1.60, up to four hours to £2.90 and more than four hours to £3.70. The cost of parking in the Pavilion Gardens will also increase, with a stay of over four hours costing 20p more, at £5.20.

Leader of the council, Tony Ashton, said: “It is a difficult position. Of course everyone would like more money, but we are investing in Buxton and the High Peak and will continue to do so.

“We have moved the start time of the residents’ permits to 3pm, so we are helping people where we can.”