WINDOW cleaners and taxi drivers will see the cost of operating licences soar under new fees proposed in East Lothian.

A review of fees charged by East Lothian Council has recommended the cost of a window cleaner's licence more than double from £89 a year to £207, with taxi driver licences set to increase from £149 to £259.

The review, which compared other local authority fees, found that the average charge for window cleaners was just under £124 and taxi drivers licences were on average £134.55.

Councillors will be asked to approve a wide-ranging list of new fees at a meeting of the Labour administration’s cabinet next week.

A report to councillors revealed that the local authority had commissioned Lanarkshire-based business management consultants Arneil Johnston in April last year to carry out an independent review of its discretionary licensing fees.

The consultants looked at other Scottish councils’ charges, as well as the cost of overseeing the service before producing the results of their review.

Some charges reduced

Some charges which impact community events are recommended to be reduced, with public entertainment licences for temporary events involving between 500 and 2,000 people daily reducing from £423 to £285, and for those with more than 2,000 people and less than 5,000 reducing from £635 to £301.

Events welcoming more than 5,000 people are reducing from £845 to £317.

Tattoo artists and piercing services will also see an increase in three-year licence fees from £263 to £404 and, while a three-year licence to sell knives is recommended to be reduced from £384 to £310, venison dealers will be hit with double the fees from £129 to £269.

Animal breeders and people selling pets will also see the cost of licences increase from those varying from £194 to £205 facing a new fee of £403.

The £403 fee will also apply to rehoming and animal welfare organisations unless they are a registered charity.

A licence to operate a zoo in East Lothian will go up from £595 to £1,067, while riding establishments will see an increase in three-year licences from £138 to £400.

The new fees will be put before cabinet for approval at a meeting on Tuesday.