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Agenda Item No. 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 13th March 2013

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Public Protection - Proposed Fees and Charges

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             This report sets out proposals for increases in fees and charges in respect of those functions managed by Public Protection which are the responsibility of the Council’s Executive

Recommendations

1.             THAT the Committee endorses the report and refers the same to Cabinet for consideration and the following recommendations are noted:

2.             THAT the schedule of fees and charges in Appendix 1 to 3 to this report are approved to become effective from 1st April 2013

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To allow the matter to be considered and for Cabinet to receive the views of Scrutiny Committee.

2.             To ensure fees are increased in line with inflation, statutory requirements and reflect more accurately the actual cost of providing services.  

Background

2.             The Council delivers a number of chargeable services through the Public Protection service.  This report sets out proposals for fees and charges as included in Appendices 1 to 3.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             It is proposed that the fees set by the local authority for Public Protection Services be increased by 2.7% in line with the published Consumer Price Indices (CPI) in December 2012.  Increased costs have been rounded to the nearest pound or 50p to assist with administration. These proposed fees are included in Appendix 1.

4.             Trading Standards charges under the Weights and Measures Act 1985 are set regionally and have been increased by 2.6% in line with Retail Price Index (RPI) in September 2012. These fees are set out in Appendix 2.

5.             The cost of serving a Housing Act Notice will continue as a fixed fee.  However, where specialist advice or reports are required to support the service of the statutory notice, the cost of these reports will be added to the fixed fee.  Examples of such specialist reports include; structural engineer reports, gas safety reports, electrical engineers reports, asbestos surveys and sampling.

6.             During 2013/14 consideration will be given to how Welfare Reform changes will impact the administration of the concession to Benefit Recipients.  The findings will be the subject of a separate report in 2013/14.  

7.             The Council issues Ship Sanitation Certificates upon request.  There is a standard charging policy across the UK for the cost of these certificates agreed by the Association of Port Health Authorities (APHA).  From 1st January 2008, APHA recommended that UK local/port health authorities adopt the charges agreed by the Environmental Health & Hygiene Committee.   This Committee has recommended the adoption of new fees from the 1st April 2013 as detailed in Appendix 3.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.             The charges proposed reflect increases in the costs of delivering services and the requirement to obtain income where possible to assist in delivering a balanced budget.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.             There are no direct sustainability or climate change implications from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.        Under relevant legislation the Council is allowed to charge for certain services it provides.  Where actual fees and charges are specified in legislation this is indicated as such in the appendices.  

Crime and Disorder Implications

11.        There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.        There are no implications as a result of this report.   

Corporate/Service Objectives

13.        Fees are generally set on a cost recovery basis and income generated directly supports service provision.

14.        It is a corporate priority to manage the Council's workforce, money and assets efficiently and effectively in order to maximise its ability to achieve its aims in a sustainable manner.   

Policy Framework and Budget

15.        This is a matter for Executive decision. 

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.        This report relates to all wards in the Vale of Glamorgan. There is no requirement to consult on these proposals.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.        Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Alun Billinghurst, Head of Service Public Protection

Officers Consulted

Lawyer, Legal Services

Senior Accountancy Assistant, Finance

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

 

 

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