Two new sets of price rises have been announced for users of Leeds City Council facilities as the council tries to balance its budget this year: the cost of using the Woodhouse Lane car park is going up again, and users of council sports pitches are facing further increases too.
Both of the increases will take effect from January.
The cost of parking at Woodhouse Lane is going up from £5.50 to £6 a day. It was only increased from £5 to £5.50 in September.
Other tariffs at the multi-storey car park are as follows (it says “proposed” but the increases have since been approved):
A report on the changes says the car park is currently cheaper than all the competition, and is operating at or near capacity throughout the day on weekdays. It’s expected the price rise will raise around £50,000 extra revenue in a full year.
Charges for using council sports pitches last went up in February this year as part of this year’s budget. This time they’re being increased by 3% – or, as a report says, “broadly in line with inflation”.
So, from 2nd January hire of a grass pitch for football or rugby will be going up from £552 per season to £569.
Similar price rises are being introduced for cricket, hockey, bowls and golf, for sites used for funfairs, and for entry to the farm at Temple Newsam.
You can see all the new prices here.
“Presently the provision of grass sports facilities is heavily subsidised,” a report says. “Failure to ensure that cost of service increases in line with inflation will result in an expansion of the existing level of subsidy, which when considered in line with the present budgetary pressures within the service and directorate would constitute a notable budgetary risk. These price changes come as part of a wider aim across the Council to reduce its budget in line with cuts and make its services more sustainable.”
The council announced last month that it had introduced tough spending curbs as it struggled to keep within its budget for the year. They included a three-month embargo on all overtime, external recruitment and the appointment of new agency staff.
It said at the time that it was asking all of its departments to look at the possibility of increasing fees and charges from the beginning of 2015. This appears to be the first response to that request.
The projected overspend for 2014-15 was put last month (half way through the financial year) at £8.6m. According to a report published earlier this week, it has now been brought down to a projected £3.7m.