Agenda item

Corporate Fees & Charges Review 2023/24

(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)


Report of Head of Financial Services (report published on 13.01.23)


(Cabinet Member with Special Responsibility Councillor Whitehead)


Cabinet received a report from the Head of Financial Services that asked Members to endorse the Fees and Charges Policy for 2023/24 and also to consider a range of charging options as deemed appropriate to the service area.


The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:




Option 1: To support the inflationary increases/freezes as outlined in the report.

Option 2: To not support the inflationary increases/freezes as outlined in the report.


This protects the client base in two of the Council’s largest fee earning areas (parking and garden waste), especially in the current cost of living crisis whilst providing a fair percentage uplift in other areas.

There could be an opportunity to use fees and charges to contribute further to the general fund net position.


The chance to increase fees and charges at above inflationary levels would be foregone.

The draft revenue budget has been prepared with the inclusion of the items raised in this report. Any further proposals would require further consideration prior to being fed into the budget process.


Cost of living and the return from the pandemic have reshaped people’s habits. The income targets already set could in advance of projected spend 23/24, resulting in a shortfall within the accounts.

Increasing fees to higher than suggested levels would most likely result in resistance and potentially not achieve the targets originally set.


The officer preferred option is Option 1.


Fees and Charges are reviewed on an annual basis and as outlined within the report, significant factors have become apparent as to why differing treatment is required within a couple of areas. It is felt that the recommendations made are of a fair nature and in-line with the policy attached to the report.


Councillor Whitehead proposed, seconded by Councillor Wood:-


“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”


Councillors then voted:-


Resolved unanimously:


(1)        That Cabinet endorses the Fees and Charges Policy as set out at Appendix A to the report, and during 2023/24 as part of the mid-year budget strategy review determines whether any other areas of income generation be explored further for 2024/25 onwards.


(2)        That Cabinet endorses the freezing of car parking pay and display charges, for a further twelve month period.


(3)        That Cabinet endorses the increase of garden waste collection charges by £1 to £41 per annum.


(4)        That Cabinet endorses the return to applying inflationary increases to fees and charges across all remaining areas as appropriate, as reported as part of the current 2023/24 budget setting process.


(5)        That Cabinet endorses the implementation of the new charge in respect of electrical vehicle recharging on off-street car parks, as reported as part of the current 2023/24 budget setting process.


Officer responsible for effecting the decision:


Head of Financial Services


Reasons for making the decision:


Between 2022/23 and 2023/24 gross income from comparative fees and charges is expected to increase from £18.27M to £18.58M, representing a moderate increase of £0.31M or 1.7%. It should be noted that a number of income budgets were significantly reduced in 2021/22 due to the pandemic and where appropriate were returned to pre[1]pandemic levels when formulating the 2022/23 revenue budgets. However, during the current financial year it has become clearly substantiated by monitoring processes in place that income levels are still suffering. The cost of living crisis has added a further burden to this area and the 2023/24 budgets have been projected with this in mind.


Fees and charges form an integral part of the budget setting process, which in turn relates to the Council’s priorities. Under the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS), income generation is a specific initiative for helping to balance the budget.


Supporting documents: