Plans to increase Herefordshire parking charges

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Plans to increase car parking charges and ask parents to pay more for school transport are being considered by Herefordshire Council.

The initiatives form part of proposals to raise £712,000 to help towards the £10.3m savings needed to balance this year's budget, the authority said.

Changes to adult social care and planning advice were also proposed.

The council said the plans, which will go before its cabinet on Thursday, were to "protect front-line services".

Parking charges have remained at the same level for three years and would need to rise above inflation, but detailed charges have yet to be decided, the authority said.

Parents and carers would be asked to make a greater contribution towards the costs of school transport.

'Most vulnerable'

The annual cost of providing such transport works out at £600 per pupil.

A subsidy paid for by the council is £200 per pupil and it has been proposed to cut this to £100 a year.

If agreed, figures would be considered in detail and "widely communicated before any changes are brought in during the autumn", the council said.

Councillor John Jarvis, leader of the Conservative-controlled authority, said: "We fully understand these changes will affect a lot of people, but in a small way."

The authority "has pledged to protect the services depended on by the most vulnerable", it added, and "has already earmarked an extra £3.5m for adult social care".

It is anticipated that 250 jobs, including more than 30 management posts, will be shed across the council during the next two years.

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