No u-turn on Falkirk garage rents

The Parkfoot Court garages
The Parkfoot Court garages

An 80 per cent hike in the cost of renting a council garage has been defended.

The shock rise from £42 to £75 a year angered many householders when the bills arrived.

Some are threatening to only pay the same increase as last year – three per cent – in protest.

But this week they were warned there will be no u-turn and the money will have to be paid in full.

Councillor Jim Blackwood, convener of the housing and social services committee, who was challenged to justify the inflation-busting rise, insisted: “The administration considered the matter and, since there have been no significant increases in garage rents over the years and the increase this year is under £1.50 a week, there are no plans to alter the budget decision.”

Reminders have been sent that yearly contracts are expected to be settled by May 1.

While some are threatening to defy the town hall for as long as they can, others admit they fear it is a fight they cannot win.

One said: “Nobody is very happy about this and we wanted to make a stand, but, at the end of the day, we need our garages and don’t want the council taking them off us.

‘‘Because of that I suppose we will reluctantly pay up, but it’s a disgrace because we are getting next to nothing for our money.”

Householders in Millburn Street, Strachan Street and Windsor Road all complained at the rises announced in the budget, and residents in Parkfoot Court facing a monthly increase from £20 to £24.36 for their lock-ups dismissed claims from the council the fee covers “management and maintenance” as a joke.

A council spokesman said: “We have a five-year planned maintenance programme covering painting and repairs and requests for day to day repairs are dealt with on an individual basis.”