Fees and Charges for Fit and Proper Tests for Mobile Home Site Owners/Managers
The Council considered a report (Agenda Item 16a) concerning fees and charges for fit and proper tests for mobile home site owners and managers.
The report considered and then agreed to include the fees associated with The Mobile Homes (Requirement for Manager of Site to be Fit and Proper Person) (England) Regulations 2020 on the Public Protection Partnership’s (PPP) list of fees and charges.
MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Graham Bridgman and seconded by Councillor Rick Jones.
That the Council:
“Agree the fees which are based on the existing framework of Fees and Charges within the Public Protection Partnership.”
Councillor Graham Bridgman in introducing the report passed to Councillor Hilary Jones, who was not physically present at the meeting and so could not propose it herself. Councillor Graham Bridgman additionally proposed a minor clerical amendment to the report, changing the reference to a JPPC meeting in “September 2021” to “September 2020”, this was approved.
Councillor Hilary Cole in presenting the report, noted that the Regulations were introduced in 2020, creating a Fit and Proper Person test for Mobile Home Site owners and managers. This came with two potential fees, for the processing of applications, and maintaining and monitoring the scheme. The Joint Public Protection Committee agreed recommendations in June that were made by the Public Protection Partnership, and proposed a schedule of fees.
Councillor Carolyne Culver asked what other local authorities were doing with these fees, and whether what the Council was proposing was similar. Councillor Culver asked how long the application process would take, and asked how long the check-in process would take so that residents could find out how much these fees would cost them.
Councillor Alan Macro stated that the process had been forced upon them, applicants did not know how long the process was going to take, and that they were being asked to sign up to a programme without knowing what the fees would be.
Councillor Steve Masters raised similar concerns to Councillor Macro, noting that the charges were arbitrary and open-ended, and that applications may be excluded on a financial aspect or be later unable to pay the fees. There were real concerns that the policy was too vague, and that there would be fairness and discrimination issues which required addressing.
Councillor Rick Jones explained that the £259 an hour fee was universal across the PPP, and was calculated upon an estimated number of hours.
Councillor Hilary Cole noted that the guidance had been issued in June, and that the fees were in accordance with the general fee-setting process, and that other local authorities would have a similar fee scheme as the PPP. Councillor Cole had every confidence that the fees were set fairly. The fees are for owners of sites, and so much of the fee will be likely passed on to customers.
An indicative vote of all Members present in the Council chamber and remotely showed Conservative Group approval. Councillor Lee Dillon on a point of order noted that the Liberal Democrat Group would abstain, and Councillor Carolyne Culver noted that the Green Group would vote against.
The Motion was put to the meeting and duly RESOLVED.