Agenda item

SPENDING MECHANISM FOR THE NEIGHBOURHOOD ALLOCATION OF THE COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY

To provide Cabinet with an update of monies received via the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and seek approval for the publication of the CIL Annual Monitoring Report. Additionally, the report sets out the legislation regarding the neighbourhood allocation of the Community Infrastructure Levy and proposes a spending mechanism to allow for communities to bid for access to funding.

Minutes:

The Cabinet was provided with an update of monies received via the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and their approval was sought for the publication of the CIL Annual Monitoring Report. Additionally, the report set out the legislation regarding the neighbourhood allocation of the Community Infrastructure Levy and proposed a spending mechanism to allow for communities to bid for access to funding.

 

The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Managed Growth advised Members that the history of CIL was set out in the report and Members were reminded that the Council’s levy rates were set out in an adopted Charging Schedule, which full Council approved in 2016, with the levy being applied to liable planning approvals from 4 July 2016.

 

The CIL Regulations also required charging authorities to prepare a CIL Annual Monitoring Report (AMR), for publication by 31 December following the reporting year. The CIL AMR was presented to Members and covered the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

 

Members were advised that the total receipts received during this period totalled £872,794. This equated to £698,236 added to the Strategic CIL fund, £130,919 to the Neighbourhood CIL fund and £43,639 was allocated against the budgetary expenditure of the administration of the fund.

 

Regulation 59A of the CIL regulations required 15% of the levy to be passed directly to the Parish or Town Council where the liable development had taken place. This could be increased to 25% following the adoption of a Neighbourhood Development Plan. Parish Councils had authority under the regulations to distribute the funds without further involvement from the Charging Authority i.e. the Council.

 

Where the Levy was collected in areas without a Parish, monies were held within a Ward allocation, with the responsibility for spending held with the Charging Authority.

 

Members were advised that legislation prescribed what Neighbourhood allocations could be spent on as set out in the report. Detailed in paragraph 4.3 of the report was the preferred option regarding CIL spending methods. Officers were of the view this approach used the existing links within the Stronger Communities team with local neighbourhood groups and Ward Members and allowed for effective engagement and consultation when determining spending of projects. The assessment of projects against both the CIL regulations requirements and the Councils Priorities would ensure funds were distributed fairly and openly. The reporting of projects for approval to CPH for Stronger Communities and Partnerships would ensure a transparent and proportionate level of decision making. 

 

Proposed projects would be assessed to ensure they complied with CIL spending regulations and scored against a number of criteria, including benefits of the project, how the outcomes of the scheme aligned with the Councils priorities and level of public support. A Member consultation was taking place to gather feedback on the proposed scoring matrix, with the final version being reported to the Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities for approval.

 

On receiving the report Members appreciated the different approach required for parished and non parished areas. Given the Council had good working relationships with Parish Councils Members were confident that the parties could work together for the benefit of the local communities with regard to the development of infrastructure for example improving the village centre via the public realm.

 

With regard to non parished areas Members appreciated the importance of establishing a fair and transport mechanism for the allocation of CIL monies which would benefit the local community and be aligned to the Councils priorities.

 

 Members also noted that a Members consultation was ongoing with regard to the mechanism of the allocation of funds. Members felt it was important to emphasis the need to consider what impact the allocation of funds would have on the local community and in particular social inclusion. The Leader suggested that there was a role for Scrutiny to play in reviewing the impact of CIL with specific regard to the review and evaluation of impact, focussing on the issue of delivering benefits which were measurable and encouraged social inclusion. The Leader also felt the proposal could be refined once the Members consultation had concluded.

 

Members recognised that issues would arise but it was important to establish a set a rules which were clear and transparent and which could be further reviewed. Members also recognised it was important that local communities if experiencing increased development could also access additional benefits through CIL monies and this would also help advance local democracy.

 

RESOLVED

(i)  That  the publication of the Community Infrastructure Levy Annual Monitoring Report (2017/2018) be approved; and

 

(ii)  That a spending mechanism where bids are received via the Stronger Communities network, assessed against a published scoring matrix and reported to CPH for Stronger Communities and Partnerships decision session for approval be agreed in principle subject to the conclusion of the Member consultation being incorporated into the scoring matrix; and

 

(iii)  That provision for the relevant Scrutiny Board be established to review the impact of CIL monies on local communities with specific focus on social inclusion.

 

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