Hitting residents and businesses in the pocket is not the answer to tackling a funding gap, a committee at Lichfield District Council has been told.
An overview and scrutiny meeting last week saw a range of financial proposals put forward to help plug the hole in the local authority’s budget in the coming years.
They include introducing evening parking charges and replacing the £1 Sunday fee with the standard rates.
Other measures include a £4 increase in the annual cost of brown bin collections and introducing a departure charge for operators using the city’s bus station.
But Cllr Joanne Grange, independent representative for Chadsmead ward, said the local authority needed to look again at how it tries to plug the funding gap.
“We know our traders are struggling. If we are then putting car parking charges in on the evenings and Sundays then we risk more closures.
“We need to look more holistically at this and we need to think bigger than just what we can tax to bring money in to this council.
“We all understand we’ve got to find money, but just taxing residents and businesses is not the most imaginative way.”Cllr Joanne Grange, Lichfield District Council
Cllr Rob Strachan, cabinet member for finance, said he agreed with Cllr Grange but added that the constraints of local authority funding left few options.
“I agree with Cllr Grange, but that is a position central Government is placing us in.
“I’m trying desperately to find ways to avoid taxing our residents any more than is necessary.”Cllr Rob Strachan, Lichfield District Council