Many authorities are hardly scratching the surface in exploring and exploiting the many income generation powers and options available to them. Options some authorities are now finding can not only make a real impact in generating additional funds, but can also bring more autonomy, independence and a reduced reliance on central government support.
One of the key drivers of income generation is the discretionary fees and charges levied by local authorities. To that end, CIPFA provides a Fees & Charges enchmarking service. Following on from our successful Income Generation Profiles and Income Generation Management Reports, the new exercise will drill down into the discretionary charges levied for key services and allow local authorities to fully understand what their peers are charging for similar services.
Only by understanding how your charges compare to those of your peers will you be able to develop informed strategies around charging for services.
- Should we be charging more?
- Are our charges fair?
- Should we introduce a charge for this service?
- What is a sensible charging mechanism?
- Should we charge less?
- What are our peers doing?
- Should this service be free?
These are some of the crucial questions that the new exercise will answer.
Who is the Fees & Charges exercise for?
This service has been specifically designed for anyone in a local authority with responsibility for informing charging policy. Whether you are a chief executive, chief financial officer, responsible for business transformation, or a service manager, Fees & Charges benchmarking offers you a unique means of:
- understanding your charges in relation to your peers
- learning from changing practices and strategies elsewhere
- comparing charges with that of your peers and best practice, and
- identifying where there is scope to change your charging policy and strategy.
What the service offers you
The Fees & Charges benchmarking service is relevant for all local authorities and comprehensively covers the following key services:
- health and social care
- children's services
- cemeteries and crematoria
- highways and transport
- environmental health
- leisure, culture and young people
- neighbourhoods, housing and customer services
- regeneration (including parking)
This benchmarking service also captures information on authority-wide strategies and significant income generation activities and projects which will provide a rich source of ideas and good practice to be shared and implemented.