HUNDREDS of fees and charges across Teignbridge have gone up in a bid to prevent the authority going bankrupt.

The measures, which will affect almost every resident, have been brought in to fill a financial ‘black hole’ and keep the district afloat to save essential services.

An extraordinary meeting of the full Teignbridge Council heard tough decisions had to be made, and the fees had to rise quickly.

It means the council will have put up its prices twice in a year for the first time.

Car park charges will increase and it will cost more to be buried, sail a model boat or keep a dangerous animal, among a raft of rising costs.

Many other fees are staying the same, however.  

Members were told ‘difficult choices’ had to be made in a cost of living crisis and while the last thing wanted was to increase charges, it was ‘essential’ the council generate sufficient income to maintain services on which residents rely.

The move will provide the council with extra income of £346,050 a year, a rise of just over three per cent.

Reasons for the financial squeeze on the council include higher-than-expected wage increases, falling income from recycling sales and rising inflation, as well as dwindling government support.

Deputy council leader Richard Keeling (Lib Dem, Chudleigh) said: ‘We occasionally have to make tough decisions, and we have to make one now.

‘This is essential to protect frontline services.

‘All councils are, and have been for a number of years, underfunded by this government.

‘Difficult choices have to be made in a cost-of-living crisis, and it is essential that we generate sufficient income to maintain the services on which local residents rely.

‘Other councils are facing bankruptcy, but this cannot be an option for Teignbridge.

‘We can no longer bury our heads in the sand and wait for the government to come to our aid, because  they are not coming.’

The new charges came into effect from this Sunday.

Cllr Keeling added: ‘Let’s face facts, all councils have been under-funded by Government.

‘This has to be brought forward at pace.

‘We need to get things in place so we can fill the black hole created by the government.’

Some charges cannot be increased because costs are jointly agreed with other authorities.

Others will not be increased for commercial reasons such as taxi licences.

The additional cost pressures on the council have come due to higher than anticipated wage settlements for staff and higher than expected inflation rates along with the loss of the Government’s New Homes Bonus.