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Text of Subject: PROPOSED DISCRETIONARY Status: For Decision Disc Fees Subject: PROPOSED DISCRETIONARY


    Status: For Decision

    Report to: Cabinet Overview & Scrutiny Committee Township Committee

    Date: 31st October 2011 2nd November 2011 7-10th November 2011

    Report of: Service Director – Finance and Procurement

    Report Author: Robert Summerfield Email: Tel: (01706) 924249

    Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Finance Comments from Statutory Officers:

    Section 151 Officer Monitoring Officer

    Key Decision: No Forward Plan General Exception Special Urgency

    1. PURPOSE OF REPORT 1.1 To present the discretionary fees and charges proposed by Service

    Directors for the 2012/13 Financial Year. An increase of 3.6% was approved in Budget Guidelines Report for 2012/13, however, Members have requested that this percentage increase be raised to 4.6% where possible. The effect on discretionary fees & charges is shown below.

    2. RECOMMENDATIONS 2.1 It is recommended that:- 2.1.1 The proposed discretionary fees and charges be approved, subject to

    consultation with Overview and Scrutiny Committee, from 1st April 2012 or such other date outlined in the report and accompanying appendices.

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  • 2.1.2 Cabinet approve the changes in fee/charge levels outside the agreed 4.6% as detailed in the appendices and summarised in paragraph 3.6.

    2.2 Reasons for recommendation: 2.2.1 Each Service is required to achieve an overall increase in its discretionary

    fees and charges income of 4.6% in accordance with budget guidelines for 2012/13. Service Directors who are not proposing increases in charges of 4.6% are required to identify alternative savings. Service Directors may seek approval from Cabinet to have certain services exempted from the requirement to increase income from charges by 4.6%.

    MAIN TEXT INCLUDING ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED/ CONSULTATION CARRIED OUT 3.1 Alternatives and Risks considered: 3.1.1 Where Services are provided in competition with the Private Sector, the

    pricing strategy adopted has taken account of market forces and, where appropriate, of local competition.

    3.1.2 Pricing strategies should be continuously reviewed in the light of changing

    market conditions and amendments made, as appropriate, to vary the services provided in order to best meet demand and to optimise income potential.

    3.2 Consultation Undertaken / Proposed: 3.2.1 It is expected that pricing strategies take account of local competition

    (both private and public sector) where applicable, and comparisons with other Local Authorities.

    3.3. Equal Opportunities Implications: 3.3.1 The increased fee levels may have an impact on lower income households

    and service users. 3.4 Areas where no discretionary fees and charges are levied: 3.4.1 The following Service Directors have indicated that their Services have no

    discretionary fees and charges.

    • Children’s Social Care • Human Resources

    3.5 Discretionary fees and charges: 3.5.1 Each Service Director has been requested to prepare an appendix to

    accompany this report providing: • A commentary outlining the main issues in relation to the proposals for

    discretionary fees and charges for 2012/13.

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  • • Confirmation that the required increase in discretionary fees and charges income will be achieved by implementing the proposals.

    Appendices provided by Service Directors: Appendix Service 1 Fees/Charges increased over 4.6% 1A / 1B Older People & Physical Disabilities 2A / 2B Business Partnerships 3A / 3B Customers and Communications 4A / 4B Environmental Management 5A / 5B Finance Services 6A / 6B Highways 7A / 7B Learners and Young People 8A / 8B Legal & Democratic 9A / 9B Performance and Transformation 10A / 10B Planning & Regulation 11A / 11B Regeneration 12A / 12B Schools 13A / 13B Strategic Housing 14A / 14B Learning Disabilities, Mental Health & Vulnerable

    Adults 3.5.2 Fees and charges are presented net of Value Added Tax in this report

    unless otherwise stated. 3.6 General variations to 4.6% increase 3.6.1 A number of Services have variations in their fees and charges from the

    agreed 4.6%. These are shown below. 3.6.2 The Service Director for Adult Care Operations will not be increasing a small

    number of charges through this process as the decision is being deferred to Cabinet at a later date for operational reasons (see appendix 1). Charges increased above 4.6% have previously been reported to Cabinet in a report dated July 2011.

    3.6.3 The Service Director for Customers & Communication has excluded several

    library charges from the increase, in order to reduce the administration cost of processing small amounts of cash income. This is expected to have a negligible affect on the Service budget due to the small amounts involved.

    3.6.4 The Service Director for Performance & Transformation has increased

    certain charges above the 4.6% to cover costs and align fees with external organisations.

    3.6.5 The Service Director for Planning & Regulation is proposing variation from

    4.6% in several areas to allow for market conditions and as a result of extensive benchmarking activity. The Service does not expect this to have an effect on its ability to achieve the required level of income.

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  • 3.6.6 The Director of Highways has increased parking charges greater than 4.6%

    in some cases. This is mainly due to increases in VAT and has been communicated previously to Cabinet via a report dated January 2011.

    3.6.7 Some of the charges may not be directly in line with the 4.6% requirement

    due to rounding. The Authority applies a rounding criteria to all fees levied across the Authority. Fees below £1 are rounded to the nearest five pence, those above to the nearest pound. There is however some variation from this criteria at the discretion of Service Directors.

    3.7 Fees raised by greater than the agreed 4.6% 3.7.1 The table in appendix 1 indicates the charges which have been increased by

    greater than the agreed 4.6%, except where the application of the rounding criteria described in paragraph 3.6.7 is the cause, or where increases have been communicated previously to Cabinet via other reports.


    4.1.1 Service Directors are required to consider proposals to achieve an overall

    increase in income from discretionary fees and charges of 4.6% for 2012/13. Service Directors have confirmed that their proposals will achieve this requirement, or where this is not the case, Services will adjust revenue budgets to make up any shortfall.

    4.1.2 As part of continuing close working with Authorities within the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, Rochdale MBC has endeavoured to align many of its charges across this group. This has led to proposals to increase some fees/charges within Environmental Management, Planning and Highways above 4.6%.

    5. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS 5.1.1 There are no legal implications arising as a result of this report.

    6. PERSONNEL IMPLICATIONS 6.1.1 There are no personnel implications arising as a result of this report.

    7. RISK ASSESSMENT IMPLICATIONS 7.1.1 There are no specific risk issues for members to consider arising from this


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  • Background Papers For Further information about this report or access to any background papers please contact Robert Summerfield – Senior Accountant (Special Projects) Tel: 01706 924249

    Pauline Kane Service Director Finance and Procurement PO Box 39 Telegraph House Baillie Street Rochdale OL16 9DJ

    Page 5 of 62

  • Appendix 1 - Fees increased above 4.6%

    Charge No. Charge Description

    Current Charge


    Proposed Charge

    (2012/13) %

    Increase Notes

    Customers & Communications

    R461 Reservations Supplied As Photocopies Via Regional Library Service (per item)

    2.00 3.00 50% Charge set at same level as Book Reservations for items not in stock.

    C1 Blue Badge Fee 2.00 10.00 400%

    For Blue Badges valid from January 2012 onwards. £10 charge applies to renewals from November 2011. Charge set at £10 to ensure recovery of all associated costs (delivery etc.). £10 is maximum charge allowable under statute.


    Credit Card transaction fee. 1.75% charge on the full transaction value to customers paying their Council Tax, Business Rates, benefit overpayments and general income charges by credit card.

    1.75% 1.85% 0.1% % Increase in line with increased charge from banks.

    Environmental Management

    R049 Fair & Circus Site Fees (per day)

    500.00 600.00 20%

    R050 Fair & Circus Individual Rides (per day)

    50.00 55.00 10%

    R051 (Fair & Circus) Bouncy Castles (per day)

    50.00 55.00 10%

    R078 Burials - Additional Inscription

    30.00 35.00 17%

    R079 Burials: Right To Erect Memorial

    109.00 120.00 10%

    R082 Crema