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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 13th March 2012

 

Report of the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration

 

Visible Services: - Proposed Fees and Charges for 2012 / 2013

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To propose increases in service charges for functions managed by Visible Services for the financial year 2012 / 2013. 

Recommendations

1.             That the Scrutiny Committee agree the charging and fee proposals for Visible Services as set out in this report.

2.             That the charges proposed be forwarded to Cabinet for approval.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To demonstrate the Committee’s approval of the charge increases proposed for 2012 / 2013.

2.             To obtain an Executive decision.

Background

2.             The Council delivers a number of chargeable services through the Directorate of Environmental and Economic Regeneration.  These charges are set on an annual basis.

3.             With the exception of commercial waste and car parking charges, generally it is proposed to increase charges by 3.75%, to assist in covering the cost of inflation.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The proposed charges for services are set out in the appendices as follows:

Appendix 1       Waste Management and Cleansing

Appendix 2       Highways and Engineering

Appendix 3       Parks and Grounds Maintenance

Appendix 4       Parks and Grounds Maintenance and Porthkerry Cemetery

 

Waste Management and Cleansing (Appendix 1)

5.             Due to ongoing increases in landfill charges it is proposed to increase commercial waste charges for residual waste by 10%. Whilst these above inflation level costs may detrimentally affect a number of commercial businesses, the private sector do have a choice as to whether to use the Council’s refuse collection and recycling service or an alternative service provider.  In addition we have a requirement to pass on the full costs of this service to the commercial sector and not to part subsidise any commercial waste activities via either the Council’s direct budgets or the Welsh Assembly Government’s specific waste grants.  To encourage greater commercial recycling these costs will only be increased by 3.75%.

6.             As part of the continuing initiative to increase kerbside recycling, it is proposed not to increase the cost of reusable green bags (currently priced at £1.00). The charges for biodegradable sacks will also be set at the same value as the last 5 years at 3 sacks for £1.00.

7.             Officers are currently assessing various types of re-usable blue bags for recycling and these will be available as an alternative option to the free recycling boxes during 2012 / 2013.  It is proposed that, similar to the current re-usable green bags, these will be priced at £1.00 each.  Depending on the type of bag chosen, e.g. weighted, with or without a 'flap type' lid, this may not quite cover the full costs of purchase.  It will however make a significant contribution to these costs.

8.             As part of our continued Waste Awareness Campaign and our wish to limit the future use of plastic carrier bags it is proposed to keep the cost of our jute re-usable shopping bags at 50p each.

9.             It is proposed to increase all other waste charges by 3.75%. 

Highways and Engineering (Appendix 2)

10.        It is not proposed to increase the charges for coastal car parks but to keep these charges the same as in 2011 / 2012 at £4.00 / day.

11.        It is proposed that all other charges in this area be increased by 3.75%.

Parks and Grounds Maintenance (Appendix 3)

12.        It is proposed that all charges in Parks and Grounds Maintenance, with the exception of cemetery costs, be increased by 3.75%. 

Parks and Grounds Maintenance and Porthkerry Cemetery (Appendix 4)

13.        As in previous years, the charges proposed are those put forward by Barry Town Council who manage this Cemetery on our behalf.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.        The consumer price index for January 2011 was 3.6% and the retail price index was 3.9%.  The suggested increase of 3.75% is therefore representative of the inflation rate for this period.

15.        The charges proposed will allow Visible Services to continue to provide all the services specified for the 2012 / 2013 period.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.        Under relevant legislation, the Council is allowed to charge for certain services it provides.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        The provision of quality facilities and opportunities is recognised as making a contribution towards reducing crime, particularly for young people.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.        It is hoped that the charges proposed will not preclude any sectors of the community from accessing the services provided.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.        The level of charges set for Visible Services helps to ensure our continued operation within budget.  This assists in ensuring that we achieve our overall service objectives.

Policy Framework and Budget

20.        This report is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.        There is no requirement to consult on these proposals.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Miles Punter, Head of Visible Services

Telephone: 02920 673 101

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Highways and Engineering

Operational Manager - Waste Management and Cleansing

Operational Manager - Parks and Grounds Maintenance

Visible Services Accountant

Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration

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