Council set a £100,000 parking fine target

Tuesday March 21st 2023

Parking Ticket

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Parking fines in Midlothian will go up to £100 from April to help the council meet a £100,000 income generation included in its budget for the coming year.

A meeting of councillors this morning agreed to dozens of increases in fees across its services as part of their efforts to plug a multimillion pound budget gap.

And it was revealed elected members had set a target of £100,000 of income to be raised through parking penalties as part of their efforts to bring in cash.

Officers asked councillors to agree to use newly provided powers from Scottish Government to increase the current parking penalty of £60 to £100, which would be cut to £50 if paid within two weeks.

They told members: “That (the increase) will allow us to achieve the £100,000 income generation target that we have agreed to.”

Among fees increased were public entertainment licence costs which increased by as much as 100 percent depending on the size of events and sparked concern for local community galas.

Councillors were asked to agree to a ‘transition fund’ being established to give gala committees financial support to meet the extra costs for this year only.

Officers said: “It is acknowledged that many of these events are volunteer led and rely on fundraising throughout the year to cover costs.

“Most gala day committees or organisations will have planned and budgeted for their summer events prior to the council meeting; and will not have had the opportunity to include increased licence costs into their forecast spend.

“To avoid any negative impact on this years’ events, recognising the significant value these have on community cohesion and the hard work of volunteers to hold these whilst still recovering from covid, it is proposed that a one year transition fund be established for community groups to access to cover the increased costs in licence fees.”

Council leader Kelly Parry thanked officers for the work which had gone into setting up the fund, which was approved by members.

Among increases included in the extensive list put before councillors for approval were a 20 per cent increase in burial fees for adults which will rise from £827 to £992. Children up to the age of 18 remain free of charge.

The report to councillors says of the increase in burial charges: “Benchmarking carried out with other local authorities show that overall Midlothian is charging less than other councils.

“Charges increased by 20 per cent brings Midlothian to a comparable level to the Scottish average.”

The new fees and fines were approved by councillors unanimously. The full list of fees and charges for financial year 2023 to 2024 can be found HERE.

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