The application of this policy is designed to bring greater clarity to the process of setting charges. It is also intended to act as a guide in the process of reviewing charges for existing services and setting charges for any new services that may be introduced in the future.
In general terms, it is our policy which, unless there is a good reason why it is able to apply a discretion to waive a charge, a charge should be levied for all discretionary and statutory services in accordance with this charging policy.
We will review all charges within their control on at least an annual basis.
Key Principles - which services should the Council charge for?
As previously stated, charges should be made for all discretionary services and when new services are introduced, consideration for charging should be taken into account.
There needs to be consideration when implementing charging as the we may waive the charge where appropriate. Examples of this could be circumstances where;
- the service in question is delivered to all households and residents equally and therefore could be considered to be funded from Council Tax
- charging could be counter-productive that is it could potentially reduce the use of the service
- the administrative costs of making the charge would outweigh any potential income
How is the amount charged decided?
When determining the cost of a service there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration. The Charge, in general, should cover the cost of providing the actual service.
Which service users should receive a concession?
In some circumstances it may be appropriate to consider offering an ‘across the board’ subsidy to all users of a particular service where it is deemed consistent with achieving objectives we set.
It is our policy that when charges are reviewed, concessions are considered for the following groups:
- Young people aged 16 years or younger
- Full time students
- Senior citizens aged 60 or over
- Individuals on a low income in receipt of a means tested benefit
- Individuals receiving ‘carers allowance’
- Blue Badge holders
There are no set guidelines on these charges, it will be judged on a case by case basis to how much concession is awarded.
A list of proposed statutory and discretionary fees and charges can also be found by Executive Unit in the Budget Proposals each year Council Budget.
As well as those charges detailed above, more information about services for which the council is entitled to recover a fee is available via our Publication Scheme.
Other Polices and Schedules
As well as our Corporate Policy, we also have a number of Charging Policies/Schedules relating to discretionary charges we are able to make for information:
Infromation on the charge for Freedom of Information, Environmental Information Regulations and Data Protection requests.
Details of the charges that are applicable when requesting information from Governance Support, Electoral Services, Overview and Scrutiny, Highways, Public Rights of Way, Legal Services, Finance, Transportation and Spatial Planning.