Individual citizens and local communities vary widely in their needs and aspirations. Councils seek to be responsive by tailoring services and offering choice where appropriate.
The 2003 Act charging power provides some new possibilities.
For example, a council might decide to provide a new discretionary service, that is an addition or enhancement to a statutory service, and then charge for it.
The additional service could be requested by an individual or collectively by a neighbourhood.
Using the power in this way, it is possible to make a degree of choice self-financing.
This approach is clearly not suitable for all services. In certain services equity is the overriding concern and statutory requirements must always be observed.
10 May 2012