Review of Fees and Charges 2022-23 EXE21-068
The recommendations of the Executive in respect of the fees and charges for the coming year were introduced by Councillor Ashall, the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Financial Planning and Policy. Councillor Ashall highlighted the key areas where changes to the existing fees and charges were proposed. These included the increase in the charge for the community meals service, the removal of the British Sign Language Interpreting charge and the changes to the leisure charges, previously ratified by the Leisure Partnership Board. The Council was urged to take into account the financial position of the Authority when considering the proposals.
Councillor Azad referred to the recommendation to increase the charges for the meals service by 15% and the concerns that had been raised over the proposal. In view of this, Councillor Azad moved and Councillor Ashall seconded an amendment which would have the effect of changing the increase from 15% to 10%.
Whilst the amendment was welcomed, concerns remained over the proposed increase to the meals service. Additional concerns were raised over the proposed parking charges, particularly in relation to the timing of the increases which coincided with the anticipated re-opening of Victoria Way. Attention was further drawn to a reference in Appendix 2 to the report which indicated that the cost of residential parking permits at Heathside Crescent Car Park for those living in the Woking CPZ would increase from £260 to £780. It was noted that the proposed increase had not been referred to within the main report.
Noting the concerns around the increase in the town centre residential parking permits, Councillor Ashall moved and Councillor Azad seconded an amendment to the recommendations to ensure existing permit holders were not disadvantaged by the new charges. The new charges would only apply to new applicants. The amendment proposed stated that:
“any historic agreements, currently in place for Woking Town Centre resident permits at £260 per annum be honoured in perpetuity as long as the existing permit holder continues to reside within the Town Centre boundary, the new charges apply to new applications for parking permits.”
Councillor Ashall responded to the main points raised during the debate before the Mayor invited Members to move to the vote. In view of the debate and in accordance with Standing Order 10.8 the names of Members voting for and against the recommendations, as amended, were recorded.
In favour: Councillors S Ashall, A Azad, J Brown, K Davis, S Dorsett, G Elson, S Hussain, C Kemp, N Martin, R Mohammed, C Rana and Whitehand.
Total in favour: 12
Against: Councillors M Ali, T Aziz, A Boote, M Bridgeman, D Hughes and M I Raja.
Total against: 6
Present not voting: The Mayor, Councillor Lyons, and Councillors A-M Barker, W Forster, K Howard, I Johnson, A Kirby, R Leach, L Morales, E Nicholson, D Roberts and J Sanderson.
Total present not voting: 11
The recommendations as amended were therefore carried by 12 votes in favour to 6 votes against.
That (i) the discretionary ... view the full minutes text for item 7
Reporting Person – Leigh Clarke
The Executive received a report detailing the proposed discretionary fees and charges for 2022-23. Concern was raised by Non-Executive Members regarding the proposed increase to Meals on Wheels charges. The Executive noted that the Council offered one of the most comprehensive and responsive community meals services in Surrey at one of the lowest costs, however the level of subsidy required was not sustainable.
REcommended to Council
That the discretionary fees and charges, as set out in Appendices 1 – 4 of the report, be approved.
Reason: The regular review of discretionary charges ensures that the Council maintains its income base and generates additional resources for the provision of services.