Members were advised that an initial review of fees and charges had now been completed as part of the 22-23 budget setting process. This included the review of the proposed fees and charges by the Cabinet Advisory Group and their recommendations had been included in the report for Cabinet’s consideration.
The review of fees and charges commenced in the early summer and proposed fees and charges were based on a broad 2% increase. However, as the fees and charges setting process developed it had become apparent inflation was significantly higher than our 2% baseline that had been applied to the proposals for next year. Only the day before the cabinet meeting, the Consumer Price Index for October was announced at 4.2%, the highest rate for a decade and it was forecast to peak close to 5% over the coming months.
Members were reminded that the council was not immune to these inflationary pressures. As such, it was important that the council was able to set fees and charges in line with an increasing cost base but also balancing this against market conditions and the ability of residents to pay. The Cabinet Member for Finance proposed a further review of the proposed fees and charges assumptions for next year in order to apply a 3% increase instead. Subject to the approval of Cabinet; the fees and charges schedule would then be updated to reflect this new proposal which would then be presented to Council for approval on 9 December.
Councillor Yates spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1.
Councillor Saunders proposed, Councillor Kup seconded and Cabinet agreed that the fees and charges schedule be updated to be based on a 3% increase, alongside the consideration of the recommendations made by the CAG (highlighted in para 3.2 to the cabinet report), and recommended to Council for approval.