It was noted that in accordance with council procedure rule 17.6, a recorded vote would be taken on the motion or any amendments and substantive motions.
It was proposed by Councillor Gregory and seconded by the Leader that:
“Council approve the Fees and Charges as listed in Annex 1 of the report, subject to the removal of cremation fees for those up and including 17 years of age.
An all party Cabinet Advisory Group would be created to consider future fees and charges.”
The Monitoring Officer conducted a recorded vote on the motion as follows:
42 Members voted in favour the motion: Councillors Ashbee, Bayford, Brimm, Buckley, Campbell, G Coleman-Cooke, K Coleman-Cooke, Constantine, Crow-Brown, Dawson, Day, Dellar, Dexter, Edwards, J Fairbrass, L Fairbrass, Falcon, Fenner, Game, Gregory, Grove, Hillman, Jaye-Jones, Larkins, Martin, Matterface, Parsons, L Piper, S Piper, L Potts, Pugh, Rogers, Rusiecki, D Saunders, M Saunders, Savage, Stummer-Schmertzing, Taylor, Taylor-Smith, Tomlinson, Townend and Wright.
0 Members voted against the motion.
1 Member abstained from voting on the motion: Councillor Johnston.
The motion was carried.
Cabinet considered the recommendations from the Finance, Budget and Performance Scrutiny Panel. They noted that the cremation charges that were proposed by Cabinet at the meeting on 15 November 2018 were well positioned in comparison to other neighbouring districts.
Members also noted that the fees for licensing could only be reviewed in line with costs for providing such services and since there were no substantial increases to such costs, Cabinet proposed to keep the charge at the same rate as the previous financial year.
Councillor Campbell spoke under Council Procedure 20.1.
In response to recommendations from the Finance, Budget and Performance Scrutiny Panel, Councillor Gregory proposed, Councillor Savage seconded and Members agreed to recommend the following to Council:
1. The removal of the fee for cremation services of children under the age of seventeen years;
And further agreed:
2. The creation of an all party cabinet advisory group to look at fees and charges applicable from April 2020.
3. Approved to revise Item 31 of the fees and charges schedule (Off Street Parking Dreamland) in accordance with section 1.2 of the Cabinet report.
Mr Tim Willis, Deputy Chief Executive introduced the report and made the following comments:
· The proposed fees and charges for 2019/20 had been considered and approved by Cabinet on 15 November for recommendation to Council, subject to comments and views from the Finance Scrutiny Panel;
· There was a budget gap of £1.8million and the proposed fees and charges would contribute £189,000 towards closing the gap;
· Any revisions to reduce the proposed fees and charges would mean that new sources of revenue would have to be identified to raise the equivalent amount required to close the budget gap.
Members then asked questions and made comments as detailed below:
· Could Cabinet consider waiving the £50 fee for child cremation? Death in youth was tragic to affected families;
· Bulky Waste: 3 items and 10 sacks would cost £25.50 but 4 items and 15 sacks would cost £25.50. Why would there be such an fee structure as the public would simply choose the latter option;
· Under licensing there were no increases at all being proposed right across the board. One would hope that rate of inflation increases would be considered in the proposals, more so considering that the these charges were discretionary;
· Broadstairs Harbour: New charge for vessels over 10metres: If this was new how could there be an 87% increase to this fee?
· Adult cremation: The proposed increase if £50, last year it was increased by £100 (in money terms). If the fee was linked to the cost of providing a service. The 30% increase was excessive. Why wasn’t this fee linked to the cost for providing this service rather on market forces? Thanet District Council was the only one who charged this fee for children under the age of twelve in South East Kent. Other districts charge much less and yet they are much wealthier than Thanet;
· Could Cabinet consider setting up a cabinet advisory group for fees and charges for the future budget setting process?
· Could the fees and charges schedule a bit more annotation that would help with understanding the information in the schedule?
Responding to Member comments and questions said the following
· Bulky Waste: £25.50 would be the minimum charge for bulky waste. A more detailed answer would be provided after the meeting;
· Licensing: The amount charged would be for the services being given and these are determined on the advice from Heads of Service in discussion with Finance department. It was felt that there was no head room for increasing the licensing fees. The Panel could recommend o on this issue to Cabinet;
· Broadstairs Harbour charge: It was not a new charge. This was an error;
· Cremation Charges: The increases in the charges were on a year on year basis.
Councillor Campbell proposed, Councillor Stuart Piper seconded and the Panel agreed to forward the following recommendations to Cabinet:
1. To consider removing the fee for cremation services of children under the age of seven years;
2. To review the costs for cremation services for all age groups, having ... view the full minutes text for item 27
Cabinet discussed proposals for fees and charges for 2019/20.The proposed overall increase was about 2% and would generate an additional £189,000 to help reduce the 2019/20 budget gap.
Members acknowledged that although Cabinet had to make the difficult decision of putting forward an increase in charges, it was important to note that a number of charges in the proposals had been reduced.
Following feedback from residents, parking hourly rates in Joss Bay, Chandos Square, Minnis Bay and St Mildred’s Bay have been reduced. Charges for domestic clinical waste collection had been completely removed from the list and many other fees remain unchanged from last year.
Cabinet noted that the fees and charges proposals for 2019/20 were going to be considered by the Finance Scrutiny Panel on 20 November, before they were presented to Full Council in December.
Councillor Campbell and Councillor Jaye-Jones spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1.
Councillor Gregory proposed, Councillor Savage seconded and Cabinet agreed:
1. The proposed fees and charges as listed in Annex 1;
2. To recommend the proposed fees and charges to Full Council for final decision.