YEP Says (Sept 29): Value for money is key for Leeds to justify fee rises

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In this age of financial pressures on our public spending, there are no easy answers. And Leeds City Council is certainly not immune from having to take some tough decisions.

So a report to councillors putting forward options to increase charges comes as no real surprise.

Residents in Leeds could be forgiven that they already pay for their services through the council tax. But the couple of pounds a day they spend has to go a very long way.

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And a comparison with how we fare against other similar size cities shows that we are not being asked to fork out as much as others.

However, as the belt is about to get tightened again, the city council is looking at options that will hit some people pretty hard.

For instance, ending the free collection for bulky items may see a rise in fly tipping.

If the proposals go ahead, Leeds residents will be asked to come in line with the average charges that other “core” cities are charging, which could net the council an extra £2.25m every year.

That could affect things like fees for allotments, weddings, community room hires and even for scattering ashes from a loved one.

The challenge for the city leaders is in demonstrating that they are providing value for money in other services to justify increases that will hit some people hard.

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