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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Brent Council Fees and Charges

I note the forthcoming report on Brent Council's fees and charges is to tread water on most of them.  This is different from the previous policy, which was to have a default of increasing them in line with inflation.  It essentially locks Brent Council into a pattern of diminishing spending as the frozen fee levels see less and less revenue.  Historically this has been periodically reversed with large above average increases to all income to "catch up". 

The officers advise (at the report) that:

"If it is decided not to increase charges in line with inflation, this will generally have the impact of increasing the level of subsidy provided by the Council to service users. Once a decision is made to freeze charges, it is difficult to recover the lost income without increasing costs by more than inflation in a future period. The financial implications of freezing charges can therefore be regarded as permanent."

It is therefore rather similar to the arguments over freezing Council Tax levels that led to such peculiar debates within Brent Labour Group earlier this year. 

We shall see what happens.

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