New charges for a free car park could be one measure introduced to help balance the budgets in Torridge.

TORRIDGE District Councillors are expected to consider an increase in fees and charges for services in 2014/15 at a meeting on Wednesday.

A special meeting of the community and resources committee will hear a report by Steve Hearse, head of financial services.

Council leader Philip Collins said times for local councils were ‘extremely difficult’.

He said: “We need to strike a balance with our fees and charges as funding from central government is reduced year on year, slowly strangling the life out of local authorities.”

The report suggests car day tickets for Northam Burrows car park would rise from £3 to £3.50, but season tickets and all other vehicles will remain at the same price.

A free car park in Northam could also have new charges introduced in 2014/15.

Windmill Lane car park, which has 33 spaces, could be subject to the new charges of 60p per hour, £3 for all day parking at £16 per week.

The report also suggests services such as burials at cemeteries could rise by £17 for an adult and the cost of a concrete and timber memorial bench could increase by £26.

Cllr Collins added: “The report going to Community and Resources by no means recommends increasing all fees and charges.

“Indeed, car parking charges will actually be reduced for blue badge drivers in Riverbank, existing car park charges remain unchanged yet again, and those fees which are increasing will do so by relatively small percentage points.

“There are many fees not increasing at all and when you take into account the increased costs to Torridge to provide local services each year, there will hardly be any additional income generated.

“Councillors have some very tough decisions to make, and regrettably due to the constant withdrawal of funding from the politicians in London, small increases in some of our fees are necessary to consider.

“I am sure if members agree with some or all of the suggestions then such a decision will not be taken lightly.”

The council’s community and resources committee will be debating the matter at a special meeting on Wednesday at Caddsdown Business Support Centre at 10am.