Agenda Item No. 9(c)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 29 APRIL 2015
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 23 MARCH 2015
C2712 MOBILE HOMES (WALES) ACT 2013 (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -
Cabinet was apprised of the new Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013, to amend the officer delegation and to agree the fee structure to enable the Council to implement the Act.
On the 4 November, 2013, Welsh Government passed the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013. The Act introduced a new licensing, inspection and enforcement regime for residential mobile home sites in Wales with the Local Authority as the licensing authority for the Act.
All Mobile Homes sites had to be relicensed by the 1 April, 2015 under the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013. The Council, on consideration of an application for a Mobile Homes licence, may issue a licence with conditions. It may also vary and revoke licences. Licences may be issued for up to 5 years. Once a licence was issued, the Council must inspect the site at least once in the licensed period to ensure compliance and could issue a fixed penalty notice or a compliance notice if a condition of the licence was breached. Site owners had a right to appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal if they disagreed with conditions set against the licence or compliance notice.
When considering an application for a licence, the Council must consider if the owner or manager of the site was a fit and proper person. The Council must also ensure that physical standards of the site were suitable for the health, safety and wellbeing of the residents and may set conditions relating to the physical conditions or management of the site.
The Council was able to charge a fee for processing a licence application or an application to vary a licence. Before fees could be charged, the Act required the Council to prepare and publish a fees policy that must be subject to consultation. Working with a local authority implementation group, Welsh Government had developed a toolkit to assist Councils to set a fee structure that was clear, transparent and was consistent across Wales to reduce the risk of challenge. This toolkit had been used to identify the costs of providing the service which were detailed within Appendix 1 attached to the report.
In line with legal requirements, all owners of Mobile Home Sites in the Vale of Glamorgan were consulted on the proposed structure. This consultation process concluded in November 2014 and no objections to the fees were received.
The Act also enabled the Council to charge for enforcement work where a Compliance Notice was served. Where a Compliance Notice was served, the Council would charge to recover its costs for the drafting and service of the Notice.
This was a matter for Executive decision
(1) T H A T the Director of Development Services and Head of Public Protection authorise Council Officers to issue, vary and revoke licences under the provisions of the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013.
(2) T H A T the Director of Development Services and Head of Public Protection authorise Council Officers to carry out the Council's function under the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013.
(4) T H A T resolutions 1 and 2 above be referred to Council for consideration and approval.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To amend the Council's Scheme of Officer Delegation to enable the Council to issue, vary and revoke Mobile Homes Site licences under the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013.
(2) To amend the Council's Scheme of Officer Delegation to enable the Council to authorise staff to enforce the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013.
(4) To allow variations to the Council's scheme of delegations.