Sex shops fees freeze agreed by Welsh council
Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter
Licensing fees for business including sex shops, street traders, scrap metal dealers, and taxi drivers in Blaenau Gwent will be frozen for the rest of the financial year.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s General Licensing committee on Thursday, September 22, councillors looked at a proposal to keep the fees at their current rates.
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 the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis has hit us, further hitting the businesses through increased energy costs and inflationary pressures.
“At this time the corporate leadership team were consulted on proposals for fees and proposed, with all this in mind, they will retain the previous year’s fees and leave them unchanged for this year
“Fees levels for 2022/23 would stay at the level agreed for 2021/22.”
Mr Osborne explained that “it would normally be usual” for a consultation to be held on proposals to change the fees but said that this is not needed when fees stay as they are.
He told councillors that allowing the the fees to be frozen would cost the council £3,000 which would be “managed” through the Environment and Regeneration departmental budget.
Committee chairwoman, Cllr Lisa Winnett said: “I welcome no changes to the fee especially in light of the huge petrol costs that taxis are facing and the cost of living crisis.
“Taxi services are alreardy struggling and we’ve seen some cease trading due to the financial strain.
“All businesses are struggling at this bad time and any rise of fees would be detrmental and have an adverse effect to them.”
Mr Osborne said a fee review would start again soon for the 2023/24 financial year.
The committee approved the recommendation.
- 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.
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