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    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 18th Aug 08, 8:24 AM
    • 8,115Posts
    • 42,285Thanks
    MSE Martin
    0 WOW
    The Great “Free or Subsidised by my Council” Hunt
    • #1
    • 18th Aug 08, 8:24 AM
    0 WOW
    The Great “Free or Subsidised by my Council” Hunt 18th Aug 08 at 8:24 AM
    What's it about?

    Whether it's council leisure centres and gyms at half the cost of private ones, free internet access in library, using your residents' permits to get access to car parks for less, or even grants for home insulation, local councils can save you cash.

    It’s worth taking advantage as often it's your council tax cash being used to subsidise them.

    What to do

    So I wanted to tap MoneySavers for what council facilities you find it worth using and where.

    Click reply to let us know.

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Dan; 19-08-2008 at 7:56 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

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Page 1
  • Cerisa
    • #2
    • 18th Aug 08, 9:37 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Aug 08, 9:37 AM
    Waendel Lesuire Centre in wellingborough.

    Free internet in Lancaster Library
    • grannybiker
    • By grannybiker 18th Aug 08, 10:51 AM
    • 11,068 Posts
    • 1,045,501 Thanks
    • #3
    • 18th Aug 08, 10:51 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Aug 08, 10:51 AM
    Gloucestershire libraries all do up to 2 hours free internet /PC use to all members on a booking system. 15 minutes on non-bookable drop-in.
    • grannybiker
    • By grannybiker 18th Aug 08, 10:53 AM
    • 11,068 Posts
    • 1,045,501 Thanks
    • #4
    • 18th Aug 08, 10:53 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Aug 08, 10:53 AM
    Oh, and Forest of Dean swimming pools offer free family swim sessions through the holidays. Get pretty busy, and only available for family groups, so no sending the kids on their own!
  • Mrs. M
    • #5
    • 18th Aug 08, 10:59 AM
    • #5
    • 18th Aug 08, 10:59 AM
    Yes there are lots of things that councils supply 'free' but remember, in the long run, the council tax payer pays for many of them. The portion paid by the council tax payer varies depending on where you live.
    Most, not all,of those freebies are for pensioners,and those receiving benefits. So here goes.
    Free parking in many areas for blue badge holders Nationwide and further
    Bus passes Nationwide
    Insulation for your home Cavity wall filling, loft insulation etc. Parts of Hampshire
    back door collection of rubbish for infirm
    Slippers, Hampshire
    Safety aids for the house. eg. bath supports, railings for steps. Parts of Hampshire

    For starters. I dare say that there are many more.

    Mrs. M, Isitfair.
    • fat_jedi
    • By fat_jedi 18th Aug 08, 11:21 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 364 Thanks
    • #6
    • 18th Aug 08, 11:21 AM
    • #6
    • 18th Aug 08, 11:21 AM
    Yes there are lots of things that councils supply 'free' but remember, in the long run, the council tax payer pays for many of them. The portion paid by the council tax payer varies depending on where you live.
    Most, not all,of those freebies are for pensioners,and those receiving benefits.

    Mrs. M, Isitfair.
    Originally posted by Mrs. M
    That's a really good point:-

    If more use the "free" services, then it could potentially increase council tax fees as they struggle to fund the new found enthusiasm for their "free" servcies!!!!

    As eager moneysavers, we could be directly responsible for a higher bill

    "If you think things can't get worse it's probably only because you lack sufficient imagination."
    • oramgepekoe
    • By oramgepekoe 18th Aug 08, 11:28 AM
    • 567 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    • #7
    • 18th Aug 08, 11:28 AM
    • #7
    • 18th Aug 08, 11:28 AM
    In Hertfordshire libraries you can borrow magazines for free.
  • Angua2
    • #8
    • 18th Aug 08, 11:49 AM
    • #8
    • 18th Aug 08, 11:49 AM
    In East Lothian:

    If you're on benefits/disabled, etc., you can get a referral from CAB/Social Work/Visiting Nurse et alia to ELVON Furniture Recycling for free household goods (from chairs to washing machines and more).

    As I understand it, they will deliver (£5 delivery charge) the free items you need as soon as they become available. Items supplied are donated to ELVON (2nd-hand and occasionally even new!) by local residents/businesses. The project is supported by East Lothian Council & Transforming Waste Scotland.

    Still waiting for Dyson to bring out a ride-on hoover...

    Bad Alba Mothers Purchase Only Tanqueray
    • Pisces
    • By Pisces 18th Aug 08, 1:41 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 1,418 Thanks
    • #9
    • 18th Aug 08, 1:41 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Aug 08, 1:41 PM
    Lots of councils offer cash back if you buy re-usable nappies. Although I've just discovered my local council (Warwickshire) is ending the scheme at the end of August :-(
    Go your own way..

    Virtual sealed pot challenge member #103
  • petshopgirlemma
    If you work for the council in Manchester you get further subsidised membership options for the council run leisure centres.
    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 18th Aug 08, 3:41 PM
    • 11,623 Posts
    • 128,877 Thanks
    Flickering Ember
    Liverpool City Centre library, you can get up to 3 one hour sessions a day if you're a member, or you can get up to a half hour session for free per day if you're not a member.
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
    • belfastgirl23
    • By belfastgirl23 18th Aug 08, 6:38 PM
    • 7,745 Posts
    • 15,582 Thanks
    Belfast city council (and many others) offer cut price composting bins. In belfast cost around £5

    • chumbasmum
    • By chumbasmum 18th Aug 08, 7:38 PM
    • 154 Posts
    • 255 Thanks
    gloucestershire leisure centre
    My local leisure in Cirencester will give 10% off a years membership if you work for the council e.g. teacher.
    They don't offer this, you have to ask.
    I have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat - Rebecca West

    Weight loss 2010 - 1/7lbs :rolleyes:
  • Sugarhunny1
    Perth and Kinross Leisure Facilities offer cheaper monthly access to all their facilities if you work for certain companies. Check out there website for more details. They also give FREE access to people who live in areas of regeneration of Perth.

    Perth library: Free internet access.
    "The journey of 1000 miles commenced with a single step"
    • billbennett
    • By billbennett 18th Aug 08, 9:12 PM
    • 2,270 Posts
    • 1,623 Thanks
    Free bit of paper and a yellow and black sticky envelope. All you need to do is park on a double yellow line, and a council operative will leave one for you.

    In "Monopoly", what makes the "Super Tax" so super?
    • SomethingWitty
    • By SomethingWitty 19th Aug 08, 11:33 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 84 Thanks
    Local Libraries are your first port of call for "freebies" as most will be able to tell you about the services your council offers, not just learning related ones but generally as well.

    For starters, books, dvds, magazines will be free (or very cheap),
    courses are often free or heavily discounted (espescially computer related ones e.g. ECDL or learn how to use a computer courses), e learning and research facilities (e.g. brittania biography library, database of old newspapers, etc) also free.

    Rubbish collection of bulky items is free in many london boroughs (though you have to pay in others), and anything to help recycling or to help save the planet is likely to be discounted, including biodegradeable waste bags.

    Many larger schools will run summer schools/clubs for adults as well as children, in things like arts and crafts, will also offer evening classes, and some schools in my local area offer the use of their sports facilities to the local community... if you like five a side get a bunch of you from work etc to see if you can rent a school gym, chances are it will be cheaper than a leisure centre.

    Schools can also be rented for classrooms etc for reasonable fees for any other kind of event. if you have a band, or your kids have a band, rent a classroom as practice space! friends do this.

    Also pest control, drain unblocking, house clearances etc your council will either do things like this free or at a discount or be able to reommend cheap and reliable suppliers.

    HTH! (Used to be a librarian we got questions about all sorts!) SomethingWitty
    Last edited by Former MSE Lawrence; 21-08-2008 at 3:42 PM.
  • BexTech
    Birmingham City Council.

    Any kids who live in Birmingham or go to a Birmingham LEA school from 4 until they reach 16 can swim for free at the various Birmingham swimming pools. All kids under 4 free swim free. The free swim for 4 - 15 inc. has been going a few years. Just need to get a passport to leisure form filled in and verified, then a pass-card issued.

    Adults on benefits can get half-price leisure (inc swimming) with a passport to leisure.
    It's PAC not PAC Code, it's MAC not MAC Code, it's PIN not PIN Number, it's ATM not ATM Machine, it's LCD not LCD Display, it's DVD not DVD disc... It's no one not noone, It's a lot not alot, It's got not gotten... Panini is the plural of panino - there is no S!!
    (OK my English isn't great, the sciences, maths & IT are my strong points!)
    • lynzpower
    • By lynzpower 20th Aug 08, 6:37 AM
    • 24,745 Posts
    • 39,940 Thanks
    LB tower hamlets were doing the Wiggly wigglers wormeries for 5.00 Wigglers were selling them for 80 quid so a cracking bargain in the drive to reduce our landfill costs.

    Many other councils do them too, so do have a look at what your environment division does.
    Well aint funny how its the little things in life that mean the most? Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes.
    Theres no dollar sign on piece of mind
    This Ive come to know...
    So if you agree have a drink with me, raise your glasses for a toast
    • Boggles1234
    • By Boggles1234 20th Aug 08, 6:52 AM
    • 98 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    Calderdale Council (Halifax, West Yorkshire) offer free interent access in libraries and have just launched a dvd rental loyalty card in libraries.

    Basically you get a stamp every time you rent a dvd (£1.50 - £2.50 a time) and when you have 6 stamps, you get a free rental.

    • geekgirl
    • By geekgirl 20th Aug 08, 8:18 AM
    • 984 Posts
    • 967 Thanks
    Not sure if other councils are doing this but our local council (Milton Keynes) is renting PC's out for £1.50 per week. They are partnered with Microsoft so come with Microsoft Office already installed.
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