Council staff shortage leads to postponing of new fees

Harrogate Borough Council.
Harrogate Borough Council.

Staff shortages amid a focus on UCI preparations have forced Harrogate council to postpone plans to bring in a new risk-based fees system for mobile home sites.

The council's licensing committee had originally voted in January to bring in a new fee policy for caravan parks.

The new structure included a risk-rated scheme, in which sites would be inspected multiple times a year - and charged more - if they weren't compliant with park home regulations.

However, council's food, licensing and occupational safety manager, Gareth Bentley, said that the authority has since "suffered some staff shortage" with employees "heavily involved with the UCI Road World Championships (and) assisting with their safe delivery".

He said the council was therefore not able to introduce the new policy, with the plan to instead defer the proposal for a year.

During questioning, Coun Andy Paraskos asked Mr Bentley what the financial impact of delaying the change would be.

Mr Betnley replied that "in effect the difference is negligible".

The council report states it will be about a £2000 difference over the year.

The new policy will be implemented in the 2020/2021 financial year instead, with all members of the council voting in favour of this course of action.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter