YORK residents face higher bills for a raft of services in the New Year, after council bosses proposed wide-ranging price hikes.
City of York Council officials have drawn up various price increases to come into force on January 1. They include a £35 rise in the cost of adult cremations and higher prices for memorials and entries in York Crematorium’s Book of Remembrance.
Charges for collections of bulky household waste will also go up, as will some charges at the Hazel Court waste recycling centre. Libraries payments and fines will rise, as will the cost of tennis and bowls courts and allotments.
Council finance chiefs said the increases for the services affected would be about five per cent across the board. bringing in an extra £32,000 this year and £128,000 in 2013/14. The plans will be discussed by the council cabinet next Tuesday.
At the same meeting, city leaders will be asked to spend £25,000 from its Economic Infrastructure Fund (EIF) to meet half the cost of buying a boat to be converted into a floating “arts barge” venue.
In a written report, Katie Stewart, head of economic development, and finance director Ian Floyd proposed the council invest up to £100,000 in the scheme overall, with three further £25,000 payments at later dates as the business plan progresses. The total cost is set to be about £275,000, with the balance coming from sponsorship and fundraising.
Ms Stewart and Mr Floyd said a boat needing “full renovation” had already been found and was expected to cost about £50,000 initially. The Arts Barge Project was launched in 2009 as a way of “reviving York’s community arts scene” by creating a “unique floating arts venue in the city centre”.
Ms Stewart and Mr Floyd said the project was in urgent need of a venue from which it can run its activities, generate revenue and consolidate its status as a creative hub.
They said it would be created from a reclaimed river barge and include a cafe bar with performance and exhibition space, as well as retail and workshop activities.
The cabinet has also been asked to spend £25,000 from the EIF on sending a delegation to an international property fair called MIPIM next year, saying it could showcase the city’s property portfolio. A further £37,000 will be invested in York’s Christmas lights and to cover income lost by offering a day of free parking at council-run car parks in the run-up to Christmas.