THE hour’s free parking in Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council-run car parks in the town centre is set to continue next year, alongside a freeze in daytime short stay parking charges.

However, other fees and charges are set to increase by an average of three per cent once again.

At a meeting of the cabinet last night (December 4) it was agreed that proposals for fees and charges for paid-for council services from April 2019, as part of a budget consultation.

The freeze in the daytime, Sunday and Bank Holiday parking charges would continue to make the council car park charges lower than other areas and other car parking providers in Basingstoke, such as Festival Place and the railway station, with no increase in residents’ parking or visitors’ permits is also proposed.

But other ‘pay to use’ services overall across the borough are set to rise by an average of three per cent, to allow for inflation according to the borough council.

Cabinet member for finance, service delivery and improvement at the borough council, Cllr Robert Tate said: “Good value fees and charges are part of our proposals for a balanced budget, keeping us a low tax but high spend council. Increases have been carefully considered to ensure that costs are affordable and competitive against other councils and providers.

“This is a fair way of striking a balance between those who decide to use additional services and everyone having to pay.

“Charges help to recover the costs for services like parking and planning and lessen the burden on council tax payers, while still making them good value.”

One of the increased charges is the cost of burial plots at the cemetery, which is part of a four-year programme by the borough council aimed at reducing the large subsidy for the service which is currently £182,500 a year.

The borough’s burial charges are still under the average of those in surrounding areas and lower than in other areas of the country.

An improved garden waste service will cost £47 a year, £42 for those signing up from January 1 to March 31, increasing from £35, but the fortnightly collections will now go on for six weeks longer – starting in February rather than March.

Customers will also have the option of changing to a 240-litre brown wheeled bin that will take more grass cuttings, hedge clippings and other gardening waste than the current two sacks.

Fees and charges are part of the budget proposals that are out for consultation until Wednesday, 2 January 2019.

Feedback on the consultation can be left by visiting