Cost of running a zoo in Midlothian goes up by 1000%

Tuesday March 5th 2024

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Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A local authority has increased the cost of operating a zoo by nearly 1000% despite not having any in its communities.

Midlothian Council is introducing a wide range of increases to fees and charges as it looks to find more cash for services.

From increasing the cost for bulky uplifts and car parks to new charges for some short term let licences, councillors last week agreed to some big increases.

But they also agreed to freezes including a decision not to increase the cost of school meals for pupils or teaching staff and freezing the heating charge for Bonnyrigg distribution network.

Among increases was the cost of a licence to operate a zoo in the country which will go up from £80 t0 £760, with a small zoo licence increasing in cost from £80 to £445.

A council spokesperson confirmed no applications for a zoo licence have been submitted or are currently in place in Midlothian.

Costs which will impact residents include an increase in the bulky uplift charge which is currently £27 for seven items and will be £30 for six items.

Some items will also face new charges based on their size including an addition £30 for a two-seater sofa and £40 for a three seater as well as a £30 charge for two items such as a mattress, divan bed or armchair.

New car park charges will see motorists using Dalkeith’s St Andrew St and North Wynd facilities pay £1.50 for two hours (up from £1); £3 for three hours (up from £2): £5 for four hours (£3) and £12 for ten hours (£10).

Housing developers will also face a 90 per cent hike on charges for a set of bins for each new house from £104 to £200

And licensing fees for commercial animal boarding facilities are to go up from £140 to £250, breeders and pet shop licences face the same increase.

A new charge is also being introduced for owners of stray dogs of £25 on top of expenses caused.

A full list of the new fees and charges has been published on the council website at HERE.

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