Review of Licensing Fees 2016

A wholesale review is to be carried out later this year of the scale of fees which The Moray Council charges for issuing a range of licences.

First of all, however, only the fees for taxis/private hires are being reviewed. The Policy Group to the Licensing Committee recommended the proposals set out at Table 1 and it is this set of proposals that will be the subject of a month-long consultation beginning 27 April 2016 and ending on 27 May 2016. A report, together with any comments you choose to make, will be put before the Licensing Committee on 29 June 2016.If the proposed increases are approved, they will take effect soon afterwards, with the date being notified to you in advance.

TABLE 1 - Review of Licensing Fees - Taxi Licensing Fees

            Proposal
  Duration of Licence Next Renewal Date (Where Fixed) No of Applications per Year
 
Cost per application Current Fee Proposed Fee* % Increase / Decrease
Taxi/Private Hire Driver Grant 3 years N/A 41 £326 £243 £300 23%
Taxi/Private Hire Driver Renewal  3 years 30th June 101 £225 £157.50 £215 37%
Taxi/Private Hire Operator 3 years 31 October every 3 years 28 £165 £160 £225 41%
Vehicle Substitution N/A N/A 62 £165 £76 £165 117%
Taxi Booking Office 3 years 30th September every 3 years 4 £88 £240 £305 27%
Licence Plates N/A N/A 194 £19 £17 non-refundable £19 non- refundable 12%

Table 1 shows the current and the proposed fees. These have been worked out to split cost recovery equally. The starting point of the calculations was the cost to the council of providing the licensing function. This was followed by looking at the type and amount of applications in the past 12 months; the Policy Group finally looked at a fair way of dividing the fees to reach full cost recovery, so arriving at these proposals. The particularly high increase in the fee for vehicle substitutions reflects the actual cost per application.

The council has made significant efficiency savings but the overall number of applications has fallen, hence the increase in cost of each fee. We would remind you that the council makes no profit; the fees set are just to reach cost recovery.

Committee chairman Councillor Gordon Cowie said the council had to recover the costs it incurred in dealing with the several hundred licence applications it handled each year.

“The revised fees which were approved by the Policy Group for consultation today reflect as accurately as possible the amount of staff time and fixed costs involved in processing licence applications,” said Councillor Cowie.

“All this information has been gathered and has been used to produce a table of costs by licence type.

“It is only fair that the full cost of operating the licensing system is recovered by the council, otherwise council taxpayers are effectively subsidising each and every licence that we issue.

“It is also important that there is full cost recovery at a time when the council is faced with unprecedented budget cuts while trying to protect frontline services.”

The consultation period will close on 27 May 2016 with a view to a report going to a meeting of the licensing committee on 29 June 2016.

We would like to hear your views, particularly if you currently hold one of the licences likely to be affected by the proposals. 

We would welcome your comments being made by email by 27 May 2016 to ldsadmin@moray.gov.uk; or by writing to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services, Council Offices, High Street, Elgin, IV30 1BX

We look forward to hearing from you.

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