Agenda Item No 6
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee: 4th February 2016
Report of the Head of Shared Regulatory Services
Fees and Charges
Purpose of the Report
To advise the Joint Committee of the proposed fees and charges for services delivered within the Shared Regulatory Service (SRS) for 2016/17.
That the Joint Committee agree the charging and fee proposals for the SRS, as set out in this report, are implemented from 1st April 2016.
Reason for the Recommendation
The report reviews fees and charges for 2016/17 and seeks to harmonise those charges where appropriate. Currently, each of the participant Councils in the SRS has set a range of fees and charges under the wide variety of legislation enforced by the SRS. While many of the charges are set locally, some are set through voluntary regional or national arrangements, and others reflect the statutory regimes set by Welsh and UK Governments.
The Appendix to this report itemises those fees within the remit of the Joint Committee. In broad terms, this includes all fees apart from Alcohol, Gambling, and Taxi licensing, Additional Licensing Scheme charges for Houses in Multiple Occupation and consents issued under the Local Government Act 1982.
Across all three Authorities, 'income generation' has been identified as a core work stream in Corporate Planning processes and is recognised as a method of ensuring continuing provision of services in the face of increased budgetary pressures. The core business case for the SRS identifies the potential for increases in income to exploit new sources of revenue and increase the yield from existing sources.
The fees and charges set out in this report aim to optimise cost recovery from regulatory activity whilst ensuring that they are transparent, proportionate and compliant with statutory legislation. It is proposed that the new fees take effect from 1st April 2016.
Relevant Issues and Options
Where any fees charged result in a surplus, that surplus must be used to reduce the fees charged in the following year. It is possible to extend the reinvestment of the surplus over more than one year, but this will need careful consideration about whether contributors may leave the licensing system over that period and therefore lose out on the return.
Deficits can similarly be recovered, although where there is a significant deficit, Councils may want to consider how recovery can be undertaken over more than one year so as not to financially harm otherwise viable businesses.
To ensure that fees remain reasonable and proportionate the SRS will establish a regular and robust review process and report the findings to the Joint Committee in the form of an Annual fees report. These annual reviews will allow for the fine tuning of fees and put in place steps to avoid either a surplus or deficit accumulating in future years.
During the course of the year, SRS will continue to explore additional areas where charges may be levied for the provision of services. In the case of charges based on officer time, a rate of £50 an hour, to include overheads, will be used.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
The fee increases represent inflationary and wage award pressures for the period concerned.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
It is necessary to review fees on an annual basis to ensure the continuation of services in light of increasing costs and budgetary pressures. There are no climate change implications arising from the fees and charges proposed.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
Under relevant legislation, the Council is allowed to recover costs for Regulatory activity and the issuing of permits and licences.
Crime and Disorder Implications
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
There are no anticipated equal opportunities implications associated with this report.
Through the monitoring and review of fees and charges, the Shared Service will ensure that its enforcement activity reflects this position and is in keeping with the Equality Statements and Policies of the participant Authorities.
The level of fees and charges set for the SRS helps to ensure our continued operation of services within budget for 2016/17. This assists in ensuring that we achieve our overall service objectives contained in the business plan.
Policy Framework and Budget
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
Relevant Scrutiny Committees at each Council
Open for Business: LGA guidance on locally set fees.
Will Lane, Operational Manager (Neighbourhood Services)
Helen Picton, Operational Manager
Head of Service, Bridgend County Borough Council
Assistant Director, City of Cardiff Council
Director of Environment & Housing Services, Vale of Glamorgan Council
Legal Services, Vale of Glamorgan Council
Accountant, Vale of Glamorgan Council
Dave Holland, Head of Shared Regulatory Services