Issue - meetings
Licence Fees and Charges 2023/2024
The Senior Licencing Officer introduced the report. and outlined the proposed fee increases of five-per-cent to the majority of the licensing partnership fees, alongside a two-per-cent increase to the services provided by the Council’s licensing department. An increase was proposed to recover the service’s cost, with the Council having experienced a deficit across the last three years of the service’s provision.
It was stated that if the proposed hackney carriage and private hire taxi fees were agreed, the fees would be advertised before implementation. If any responses were received, these would be presented to the Committee for further consideration.
In response to questions, the Senior Licensing Officer stated that the fees relating to casinos had not been increased as there were no casinos within the borough. The Gambling Act fees shown with a grey background within point 2.6 of the report had been increased to the maximum permitted.
In response to questions, the Head of Housing and Regulatory Services stated that the fee increases proposed were intended to cover the service’s cost, as opposed to generating income. The Council could be liable to challenge if the fees proposed were raised above the cost of providing the service. The cost of the licensing partnership was monitored on a quarterly basis with the partnership organisations, with the costs considered across a three-year programme to ensure effective monitoring.
The Committee felt that the proposed fee increases were well evidenced, and necessary only to ensure that the Council recovered the cost of the service’s provision. The Committee’s previous actions to support the taxi trade through alternative measures was reiterated.
1. The fee levels as set out at 2.7, 2.9, 2.11, 2.13, 2.14 and 2.15 of the report for implementation on 1 April 2023, be approved; and
2. The fee level as set out at 2.6 of the report for implementation on 1 April 2023 be approved, with any consultation responses received to be presented to the committee for consideration before that fees implementation.