Venue: North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester
Contact: Sonia Tucker Democratic Services Officer
Declarations of Interest
To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.
No declarations were made on this occasion.
To consider the report of the Head of Public Protection which invites the Committee to determine the level of fees for vehicles, operators and drivers licences for 2016/17.
This report was considered at the Licensing and Enforcement Committee on 15th March and the decision was adjourned pending further supporting information from Financial Services regarding the fluctuations observed in
This supporting financial commentary can now be found in Appendix 6.
The Food, Licensing and Markets Manager presented the report which invited the Committee to determine the level of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licence fees for 2016/17.
She noted that the report had been presented to the previous meeting of the Committee on 15 March when it had been deferred to await further information and clarification of the financial data. She advised that the additional information was contained within Appendix 6 to the report.
The Management Accountant confirmed that the Council was permitted to set fees for drivers, vehicle and operators at a level which would cover the cost of providing the service.
He referred Members to Appendix 6 which explained the principles of internal recharging of the costs of providing support services. He confirmed that the process, which applied to all Council services, was accepted as being in accord with proper accounting practice and guidance.
He noted that the process, which was a statutory requirement, varied for certain services and he cited the Guildhall as a particular example.
He advised that the employee related costs had remained fairly static and were forecast to be approximately £64,000 for the next three years. The average cost recharged per team member had been stable at an average of £41,957.
The recharges were calculated on a basis of 1.5 staff members which had been increased from 1 staff member to reflect more accurately the work of the team.
In answer to a question relating to the recharge of nearly £10,000 for communications, he believed that figure could have included Information Technology as the categories tended remain fixed from year to year.
He explained that accommodation costs would fluctuate as functions were split up and moved around the organisation.
He noted that the costs of the Legal Service were recharged on a ‘per capita’ basis related to the number of people within a service using legal support.
The Chair noted the deficits expected in 2016/17 and 2017/18 and was advised that if the number of licences issued in those years followed the established trend the service was expected to break even.
Councillor Llewellyn was advised that the Group Manager recharge had fluctuated due to a reduction in the number of services within the group.
Councillor McLellan questioned whether the Council needed a new method of allocating costs as the costs falling on services increased while the number of staff employed by the Council reduced.
Members noted that the report had originally suggested that the new fees would be effective from 1 April 2016 and that following the deferment of the report the new fees would have to take effect by1 June.
Members noted that the proposed five year fee for small operators was £2,480 compared to £1,475 for the same licence in Cheltenham whilst the remainder of the five year fees proposed were comparable to Cheltenham.
The Vice-Chair was advised that fluctuations in income reflected the differing renewal dates of licences and a large number of three year licences were renewed in 2014/15.
Date of next meeting
Tuesday, 7 June 2016 at 6.30 pm.
Tuesday, 7 June 2016 at 6.30 pm.