The Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection presented the report found on pages 9-32 of the agenda.
The Chair of the Committee thanked the Assistant Director for the report and sought clarification on resident parking permits reference within in agenda on page 11, that there was a proposal to introduce a £10 charge for residents when applying for their first parking permit and £20 for the second permit. The
Strategic Lead for Enforcement confirmed the proposal was to introduce a small fee of £10, payable by residents for the first resident permit and £20 pound for the second permit. He continued to advise the third permit was to be increase by £5 from £75 to £80 for 2023/2024. Members heard that Officers had benchmarked against neighbouring authorities and the proposal was still considerably lower for each permit, compared to other Local Authorities.
During discussions Members commented they did not feel comfortable charging residents a fee to enable them to park outside their own home. The Strategic Lead for Enforcement advised Members that any proposed increase in income was ring fenced to go back into the service for road signs, resurfacing etc. He continued by noting this part of the service, there had not been an increase in parking permits before for either the 1st or the 2nd permit for a household.
Councillor Watson enquired as to how much revenue was to be made from the proposal to charge a small fee for resident parking permits. The Strategic Lead for Enforcement noted if the proposal was to be approved, it would affect an average of 75% of residents and will be around £37,910 for the first permit, and the second permit would be around £15,160.
Following questions from Members it was highlighted that fees from pre-planning applications were ring fenced back into the Planning Department to support the planning team and grow the planning team where possible.
It was sought in terms of consultation, what considerations had been given in terms of consultation such as consulting Ward Members when proposing a fee for resident parking. Members heard that when producing the report, it has been consulted with the relevant Portfolio Holder, however Officers were unsure if Ward Members had been contacted.
Further to a question from Councillor Hebb, the Interim Strategic Lead Development Services advised the statutory fees for planning applications were set by National Government and so Officers were not able to affect changes to those fees. The fees which they had the control over were the fees for the pre-application, which were set by the Council. He continued by saying officers believed that increasing those fees would provide increased revenue to provide extra staff, meaning Officers could provide a quicker and improved service.
Councillor Watson asked that further information could be provided to Members on Building Control referenced at 6.3 of the report. She commented she felt the report should be brought back to the Committee at the next meeting.
Councillor Hebb suggested the following additional recommendation, which was agreed by all Committee Members.
That Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee request the proposal to increase the fees relating to resident parking permits is consulted with Ward Members and that further information on building control be reported back at the next meeting of the committee.
1. That Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee note the revised fees, including those no longer applicable, and comment on the proposals currently being considered within the remit of this committee.
2. That Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee note that Director delegated authority will be sought via Cabinet to allow Fees & Charges to be varied within a financial year in response to Legal or Regulatory requirements only.
3. That Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee request the proposal to increase the fees relating to resident parking permits is consulted with Ward Members and that further information on building control be reported back at the next meeting of the committee.