LICENSING fees for businesses including sex shops, street traders, scrap metal dealers, and taxi drivers will be frozen for the rest of the financial year in an effort to help with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
Councillors will discuss the proposal to freeze fees at meetings of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s General and Statutory licensing committees next week.
Both meetings take place next Wednesday, September 21.
In his report trading standards and licensing team manager, Steve Osborne said: “Members will be acutely aware of the pressures placed upon businesses during the global pandemic.
“As services are struggling to recover from this, a cost-of-living crisis has developed, further hitting the businesses through increased energy costs and inflationary pressures.
“In these difficult and challenging times for both businesses and the wider public and having regard to the budget setting cycle, the corporate leadership team have been consulted and proposed that the fees outlined in this report remain unchanged at this time.
“This option would see fees levels for 2022/23 remaining at the level agreed for 2021/22.”
The fees under discussion are for scrap metal, street trading, sex establishments (which are defined as sex shops, sex cinemas, sex entertainment venues and hostess bars) and Taxi Licensing,
Mr Osborne explains that usually consultation take place on fee increases but this is “not considered necessary” when fees stay as they are.
Mr Osborne said: “A review of all fees will commence again in autumn 2022 for the 2023/24 financial year, to bring this in line with budget setting cycle for next year.”
“In times of increasing local authority austerity, fees are an important element of local authority income.”
Mr Osborne adds that the fees are set on the principle that the council recovers its costs for administrating the licence schemes.
This means that the fees stay at:
- New licence application – £368.26.
- Renewal application – £349.36.
Scrap Metal site
- New licence- £482.56.
- Renewal application – £334.06.
- New licence application – £612.42.
- Renewal application – £410.82.
- New licence application – £649.98.
- Renewal licence application – £600.78.
- Temporary trading licence (28 days) – £69.
New Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle
- New licence application – £295.
- Renewal licence – £239.