Posted by: John Brace | 14th September 2011

Economy & Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee 5th September 2011 Part 4 Budget Issues for Economy and Housing in 2012/2013

Kevin Adderley replied that the target for the last seven years was higher than the actual income. They could set the price that equated to the gap between the income target but it would require changing the whole system. Next year they would publish how much it costs and calculate and publish an estimate of planning fees. They would divide the total costs by the number of expected planning applications to derive at the fee. With no savings there would be a £500,000 shortfall. Cllr Hackett referred to 2.1 on page 35 about the capital program. He asked if he was correct that in respect of capital borrowing it equated to an increase in yearly revenue costs of 10% of the total amount borrowed?

Kevin Adderley answered yes, to borrow £9.63 million would cost £963,000 in interest a year. Cllr Hackett asked if it was possible to delay two schemes for two years? Cllr Mark Johnston said he was nervous about the minutiae and thought such matters fell within the role of the Council Excellence Overview and Scrutiny Committee to be discussed on another day. He wanted to hear all councillors. Cllr Hackett said he was only asking questions and that he wanted to help and advise in a unpartisan way which was surely the idea of scrutiny?

Cllr Hodson said they scrutinised decisions. He asked where the formula for planning fees was? Were they going to take the figures, divide by planning applications with no savings? Kevin Adderley said that was the government’s suggestion which was similar to the way Building Control had been operating since the start of the year. Cllr Hodson said he thought planning applications had dropped in number and asked for his views on the new planning rules. Kevin Adderley said there was a report to the next Cabinet meeting asking for views and a response. It would be a detailed report with suggestions.