CHARGES for many council services are set to rise in Worcester – with sports pitches, museums, swimming sessions and more lined up for increases.

The city council’s Labour cabinet has published plans to increase prices for a series of popular activities in April.

The plans include:

􀁥 A 45 per cent rise in the cost of using football pitches, with senior hire fees going from £24 to £35 for a full-size field.

􀁥 A £4 rise in the cost of getting planning advice, with pre-application meetings with an expert officer costing £45 instead of the current £41.

􀁥 The cost of hiring the gallery, café or balcony at Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery will go from £120 to £132 per evening.

􀁥 A price freeze for admission to The Commandery, which will stay at £5.50 for adults and £2.50 for children below 17.

􀁥 A 10p rise for a standard adult swimming session at Sansome Walk pool, taking it to £3.70.

The main reason for the city council’s plans to make cuts and increase fees is unprecedented falls in Government funding.

It is aiming to save about £4 million by 2019 to balance the books.

Council leader, councillor Adrian Gregson, said: “We’ve got a longer-term plan in place and are looking at how we can square that circle of £4 million worth of savings.

“The proposals are challenging ones but we want to make sure we can keep the same levels of service.

“The council tax increase we are looking at is a very small one – the previous freezes means we’ve lost £300,000 that could have been raised with very little impact on people.”

As your Worcester News revealed in December, the budget also includes a 1.9 per cent rise in council tax.

That would add £3.23 to the yearly £1,453 average band D average bill in Worcester, because the city council controls just 11 per cent of it. It follows three years of freezes by the old Tory administration, which lost power in May.

The county council, is also going for a rise of just under two per cent, adding about £19.88 to the bill.