Members gave consideration to a report and multiple appendices which set out the proposed fees and charges for 2021/22 for services which sat within the remit of the Prosperous Communities Committee
It was noted that the Council had in place a corporate Fees, Charges and Concessions Policy which provided clear guidance on a number of areas, with particular focus on how fees and charges could assist in the achievement of Corporate Priorities, the Council’s approach to cost recovery and income generation from fees and charges and eligibility for concessions.
Work had been undertaken to bring the fees and charges in line with this policy, through reviewing existing fees and charges and considering the introduction of new charges for Council services, to recover costs and control demand. Full details were contained in section 2 of the report with outcome summarised in Section 3, namely: -
Of the 610 fees and charges reviewed 41% were statutory and 59% were non-statutory.
Of the 252 statutory fees and charges set by Central Government 97% had experienced no change in the level of fees, with 3% seeing an increase in fees chargeable.
The increases in fees and charges for statutory services sat within Environmental Services for private water supply work.
Of the 358 non-statutory fees and charges, 49% had experienced no change and 51% had increased.
Of those 182 (51%) non-statutory fees and charges increased, this equated to an average of £9.72 in monetary terms (net of VAT).
The proposed fees and charges would apply from 1st April 2021, unless there were other preventing constraints, in which case the operative date would be as soon as practicable after 1st April.
The complete schedule of proposed fees and charges was set out at Appendix 1 of the report, each subsequent appendix providing detail and analysis of pricing and demand, and the proposed charges.
In response to Members’ questions Officers confirmed why the 3% increase figure had been used and also that not significant increase in burial or crematorium fees was being proposed.
Referring to the fees related to Markets, it was suggested that market stalls provided a great opportunity for start-up business, and as such market stalls should be priced accordingly particularly given the current economic climate. There were also calls for markets wider than Gainsborough’s to be supported across the District and a requirement for a more joined-up thinking approach to Markets and the wider benefits.
Assurance was offered that both matters would be addressed by future reports, currently included within the work plan. Rents were due to be reviewed in the early New Year. A wider review was underway and would include exploring the option of extending market provision across the District. A report was expected in the early Spring.
Members confirmed that they had no questions on concerns on the exempt appendices associated with this report.
Having been moved and seconded, on being put to the vote it was unanimously: -
(a) the proposed fees and charges for 2021/22 as set out within the report, BE RECOMMENDED to Corporate Policy and Resources Committee for approval.
(b) Fees and charges be kept under review throughout the year. If necessary changes identified during the financial year, be reported directly to the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee for their approval as appropriate.