Councillor g. Denaro, portfolio holder for Finance and Enabling introduced the report and highlighted to Members the following:
· Page 159 of the report – street numbering. There had been a significant increase the previous year, following a recommendation from the Finance and Budget Working Group and therefore this year no increase was proposed.
· Page 173 – Other fees, major land sales showed 100% and this should in fact be 1.7%.
· There were a number of other areas where 100% had been included, this was an error and these should be zero.
Councillor Denaro spoke to the tabled recommendations from the Finance and Budget Working Group and confirmed that he was happy for these to be included.
The Executive Director, Finance and Resources confirmed to Members that where increases had been applied officers had been mindful of those that would be affected by any increase, but also conscious of the need to create income streams for the Council and to ensure cost recovery wherever possible. This was particular relevant in respect of the recommendations from the Finance and Budget Working Group, where they had suggested an incremental increase for the Primary Ports Project and no charge for the interment of children.
Members also discussed the Finance and Budget Working Group’s recommendation in respect of Primary Sports Projects, as Councillor Thomas, portfolio Holder for Leisure was keen to ensure that this did not impact on the cost of the service too significantly. It was explained that Members were concerned that these activities were very often aimed at some of the most vulnerable in residents and it was felt important that they were not discouraged from attending these activities due to the cost. Similarly in respect of the suggested increase for Outdoor Events Hire, the Finance and Budget Working Group were keen for the Council to be able to benefit from those activities, where it was clear that the organisers profited from the use of the Council’s facilities.
During the debate that followed, Members discussed a number of areas in more detail:
· Figures were rounded up to the nearest 10p, so the percentage increase would differ slightly.
· The overall cost of the Sports Development projects, including staffing and equipment costs. This was estimated at £200k.
· Regulatory Services fees and charges were not able to generate income, but must merely cover the costs of providing the service.
· The rationale for those fees and charges which had not been increased.
· Page 177 of the report – a new pricing structure had been increased to reflect the actual requirement needed and in line with the current market for Football pitches.
· Fairs and circuses – there was one free day for the setting up and taking down of such activities.
a) the recommendations from the Finance and Budget Working Group as agreed by the Overview and Scrutiny Board, tabled at this meeting and attached to these minutes, be included in the Fees and Charges update report, to be presented to Council on 22nd January 2020;
b) discretion on Leisure Services fees and charges throughout the financial year of 20% for increase or decrease be approved; and
c) all fees and charges that are included in Appendix 1 of the report be charged commencing 1st February 2020.
a) that Council approve all fees and charges that are included within Appendix 1 of the report; and
b) that Council approve the recommendations from the Finance and Budget Working Group, as detailed at Appendix 1 to the minutes.