Agenda Item No 7


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny (Economy and Environment) Committee: 12th March, 2013


Report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing


Visible Services - Proposed Fees and Charges for 2013 / 2014


Purpose of the Report

1.             To propose increases in service charges for functions managed by Visible Services for the financial year 2013 / 2014


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.

3.             That a further report detailing a draft policy for the future arrangements for the playing of higher league football on Council owned pitches be presented to this Committee during 2013/14.

4.             That the Director of Visible Services and Housing be granted delegated authority in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks Culture and Sports Development, to agree an alternative arrangement for the payment of football pitch booking fees and any variation to such fees required as a result.  

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To demonstrate the Committee’s approval of the charge increases proposed for 2013 / 2014.

2.             To obtain an Executive decision.

3.             To establish a policy for the use of Council owned pitches for higher league football in the future and to ensure that all the additional costs of such are appropriately recovered.

4.             To permit a prompt decision on any changes to the current booking system and any resulting variation to pitch fees for the 2013/14 period.  


2.             The Council delivers a number of chargeable services through the Directorate of Visible Services and Housing. 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% 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%.

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 6 years at 3 sacks for £1.00.

7.             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.

8.             It is proposed to increase all other waste charges by 3%. 

Highways and Engineering (Appendix 2)

9.             It is not proposed to increase the charges for coastal car parks but to keep these charges the same as in 2012 / 2013 at £4.00 / day. 

10.        It is proposed that all other charges in this area be increased by 3%.

Parks and Grounds Maintenance (Appendix 3)

11.        It is proposed that all charges in Parks and Grounds Maintenance, with the exception of cemetery costs, be increased by 3%. 

Parks and Grounds Maintenance and Porthkerry Cemetery (Appendix 4)

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

13.        There are a number of senior football clubs who benefit from additional maintenance and facilities due to their positions within higher leagues. A number of these clubs have bespoke licence agreements with the Council which in most cases result in them paying less per game than clubs in the local Vale of Glamorgan League. In return these clubs usually undertake limited pitch preparation work and provide staffing cover for certain pavilions. It is proposed that all these agreements now be reviewed and a policy established which assists in controlling the numbers of pitches set aside for higher league football for the future, whilst also ensuring that the full costs of the increased standards of provision are recovered. A draft policy in this regard will be submitted to this Committee for consideration during 2013/14.

14.        Parkwood Leisure is responsible for taking bookings for football matches on an interim basis. This is currently under review and it is proposed that the Director of Visible Services and Housing be granted delegated authority to agree any suitable alternative pitch booking arrangements and to vary the fees for senior football for 2013/14 in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks Culture and Sports Development; should a more reliable, lower cost pitch booking arrangement become available.              

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

15.        The consumer price index for January 2013 was 2.7% and the retail price index was 3.3%.  The suggested increase of 3% is therefore representative of the inflation rate for this period.

16.        The charges proposed will allow Visible Services to continue to provide all the services specified for the 2013 / 2014 period.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

17.        It is necessary to review fees on an annual basis to ensure the continuation of services in light of increasing costs.  There are no climate change implications arising from the fee increases proposed.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

19.        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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

21.        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

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Background Papers


Contact Officer

Miles Punter, Director of Visible Services and Housing

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:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing