To consider the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer (copy enclosed).
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Resources, seeking Members’ consideration of the proposed Fees and Charges for 2020 / 21 that generate greater than £2,000 (set out in Appendix A to the report). It was noted that Fees and Charges which generated less than £2,000 were reviewed and set by the interim Section 151 Officer under delegated powers.
Members were reminded that the proposed fees and charges for 2020 / 21 had been based on the policy decisions recently updated and agreed by this Committee at its last meeting. The report detailed the budgets for income generated from fees and charges and provided an update in respect of the following areas:
· Car parking
· Green waste bin services direct debit payments discount
· Event land hire
· Bootcamp licences
· Wharfage fees at the Hythe Quay
· Car parking on the Hythe Quay
A debate ensued. In response to a number of questions Officers provided Members with further information. In respect of Wharfage fees at the Hythe Quay, the Interim Section 151 Officer clarified that the proposed increased was on the current discounted Wharfage fees.
There was a lengthy discussion in relation to the proposed changes to Wharfage and car parking fees on the Hythe Quay. Several Members expressed concerned particularly regarding the impact the fees would have on the barge owners.
Councillor A S Fluker referred the investment made by the Council on the Hythe Quay and the need to speak to barge owners prior to the proposed 20% increase in 2021 / 22. He proposed that in relation to Wharfage and car parking fees on the Hythe Quay that the Council met with the barge owners twice before this Committee met in 12 months’ time.
Councillor C Swain referred to the Hythe Quay and the proposed related fee increases. He proposed that no changes to the fees be made until the Council had reviewed the position of the Hythe Quay in relation to the Central Area Master Plan which enabled the Council to take into account all other aspects of heritage and environment and use of the Blackwater etc.
The Interim Section 151 Officer advised Members that the proposed phased increase over three years was to fit into the Council’s Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and this formed part of the £1.8m saving identified through the transformation programme. To meet this savings target it was necessary for the Council to look at income. He then provided Members’ with additional information regarding the reasoning behind the changes proposed.
In accordance with Procedure Rule No. 13 (3) Councillor K M H Lagan requested a recorded vote. This was duly seconded.
Further debate ensued. The Chairman put the recommendation as set out in the report with a caveat that the Council entered into negotiations with the barge owners for future years. At this point the Director of Service Delivery sought further clarification from the Committee in respect of car parking at the Hythe Quay.
Following further discussion Councillor Fluker clarified his earlier proposition proposing that the Council increase Hythe Quay Wharfage Fees by 10% for 2020 / 21, with no increases for future years but met with barge owners to discuss the views of both sides. In respect of Car Parking Fees at Hythe Quay he proposed that for 2020 / 21 the fees be increased, and the Council then enter into negotiations with the Hythe Quay users. He proposed that all other detailed fees and charges be agreed as set out in the report. This was duly seconded.
The Chairman put the proposal in the name of Councillor Fluker to the Committee and the voting was as follows:
For the recommendation:
Councillors R G Boyce, Mrs P A Channer, M R Edwards, Mrs J L Fleming, A S Fluker, B E Harker, A L Hull, R H Siddall, W Stamp, Mrs M E Thompson and Miss S White.
Against the recommendation:
Councillors M S Heard, K M H Lagan, C Mayes, J Stilts and C Swain
RECOMMENDED that subject to the following amendments, the detailed Fees and Charges for 2020 / 21 as set out in APPENDIX 7 to these Minutes, be agreed:
· Wharfage fees at the Hythe Quay – For 2020 / 21 a 10% increase on the currently 50% discounted fee of £3,250 (2019 / 20) with a full review to be undertaken in consultation with the boat operators during 2020 / 21 to determine the policy on the Hythe Quay Wharfage Fees in time for the 2021 / 22 budget cycle. The recommended fee for 2020 / 21 is £3,575 for the year.
· Car parking on the Hythe Quay - the cost of parking permits at Hythe Quay be set at £116 for 2020 / 21 and a full review be undertaken in consultation with the Hythe Quay car parking permit users in respect of the future level of parking permit fees.