Council services set to rise

TOWN councillors have agreed a series of increases for council services including market stalls and cemetery interment fees.The new charges come into force from next monthand include the community centre, recreation ground, allotments, cemeteries, market and hiring the council chamber in Stowmarket.

TOWN councillors have agreed a series of increases for council services including market stalls and cemetery interment fees.

The new charges come into force from next monthand include the community centre, recreation ground, allotments, cemeteries, market and hiring the council chamber in Stowmarket.

Increase in markettraders rents, while modest, have sparked an outcry from those who work on the stalls.

Traders argue that they will be reeling from huge car parking increase imposed by Mid Suffolk District Council this year, which will hit shoppers and traders, and any increase in rents only adds to their suffering.


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Town mayor Barry Salmon said it was a shame to increase the burden on market traders, but said councillors have to make good use of ratepayers money and do have costs to meet.

He said: “At the end of the day we do have costs, and it is important to give good service to people who use the facilities, and the rate payers.”

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Mr Salmon said that the council is looking at improving the allotments, with some land getting new water points, fences to keep rabbits out, and that costs money. He added that where a baby needs to be interned at the cemetery there is no charge.

Malcolm Baker, town clerk, said rises at the cemetery would effect people's estates rather than individuals directly and the council maintains the cemetery to a fairly high standard, and that costs money.

The new fees, voted through during an evening town council meeting this week, will see allotments in Cemetery Field, which currently cost £7.50, rise to £10, an increase of more than 33%. At Hospital Field the current plot fee is also £7.50, this will rise to £8.50.

At the council's cemeteries charges will change across the board, including scattering remains up from £21.75 to £26; erecting a headstone or cross up from £53.80 to £68; having a wooden cross or flower vase up from £24.30 to £30; interment for someone aged over ten-years-old up from £72.50 to £90.

All cemetery fees for people who did not live in Stowmarket are doubled.

The market will rise from £1.45 per foot of business frontage to £1.50 and the cost per vehicle from £3.50 to £3.60.

The community centre hire charges for the main hall, currently £5.50 to £12.40, will rise to between £6.25 to £13.40.

The recreation ground currently costs £65 a day for fairs and circuses, which will rise to £70 and balloon flights which leave from the site are currently free. A new charge of £50 a flight will be introduced.

Hiring the council chamber will rise from £15 an hour to £16 an hour.

nStowmarket is to have a third day of market trading with a farmer's market in a medieval barn. The Museum of East Anglian Life will host monthly sales at its 70-acre town centre site from May 7, as an extension to the existing twice-weekly market.

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