STALL holders and licensed premises in Dudley could face an inflation busting hike in fees.

A proposed increase of 4.5 per cent for street vendors, sex shops and scrap metal merchants will be discussed by councillors this week.

But the rise will not affect public houses, whose licence fees are set by central government, or bookmakers or casinos whose charges will remain unchanged.

A report to members of the local authority’s Licensing and Safety Committee outlines two possible increases, starting in April, of two per cent and 4.5 per cent.

Town hall officers though say the council’s budget for the new financial year has been based on cost inflation and estimated activity levels, and the higher increase will achieve this.

Under the proposals street vendors could see their annual fee increase by £29 to £680 and sex shops will have to pay an extra £148, taking their costs to £3,442 a year.

Scrap metal sites will also be hit, paying £16 more.

Councillors will discuss the proposals at their meeting on February 7.