The Committee considered a report by the Head of Resources (circulated previously) regarding the review of Charges and Fees for 2021/22.
The Accountancy Services Manager highlighted the following:
· This year the guidance was to increase some fees and charges by 2%, although some fees were set by statute and these would be set nationally.
· It was recommended that Allotments (Appendix A), Cemetery fees (Appendix F), sports pitches (Appendix G), Pannier Market charges (Appendix H) and Bulky Collections (Appendix I) were increased by 2%.
· Other variations to the 2% increase were Building Control (Appendix B), Trade Waste (Appendix C), Land Charges fees (Appendix D), Environmental Health fees (Appendix E), Garden waste charges (Appendix J) and pre-planning application fees (Appendix K). An amended version of Appendix K had been published as a supplementary document as there had been slight amendment to the wording.
In response to questions, the Head of Resources advised the following:
· All weather pitch fees were managed by Parkwood Leisure.
· Officers regularly reviewed the commercial and trade waste fees to compare with other competitors to make sure that the fees remained competitive.
· The Accountancy Services Manager would provide details of the number of holiday homes in receipt of trade waste collections.
· The Valuation Office determined who paid business rates or Council Tax.
· Lockdown recovery fees had been introduced for the Pannier Market following an urgent decision taken by the Chief Executive.
· The current fee (£36) for the collection of garden waste had been in place since 2017, which was relatively low in comparison to neighbouring local authorities which were charging between £40-£50. The Council currently received £660,000 income for the collection of garden waste. If the fee was increased to £40, the Council would receive £740,000 income. The Council would need to increase the fees to £46/£47 in order for the service to break even.
· The waste and recycling crews had in cab technology which identified which properties were domestic or commercial.
· The crews would interpret whether a property was domestic or a holiday home.
· The Pannier Market fees would be subject to consultation with Pannier Market traders prior to the decision being taken by Council on 24 February 2021. Pannier Market traders could hire smaller areas.
· Covid 19 has had an impact for a number of clubs and organisations, therefore it would be difficult to treat some differently.
(a) that there be a 2% increase in fees for 2021/22 financial year, for the following services:
(i) Allotments – Appendix A
(ii) Cemetery fees – Appendix F
(iii) Sports pitches – Appendix G
(iv) Pannier Market Charges (subject to consultation with the traders committee) – Appendix H
(v) Bulky Collections – Appendix I
(b) that the remaining fees be varied by the elements outlined in paragraphs 4.3 to 4.8 of the report.