Report: The challenge of charging

March 28, 1998 by Accounts Commission

This bulletin is the first publication from the study into charging for council services. It is based on the results of a questionnaire survey of Scottish councils conducted in autumn 1997, complemented by visits to selected councils. The survey found that less than a quarter of councils currently have a corporate approach to charging for services, although a further 40% of councils are considering one.

Charging is a complex and often contentious area. The Accounts Commission wishes to assist councils to learn from the best practice of others, and the bulletin features a number of innovative case studies. It encourages councils to take into account their wider policy objectives, the views of users, users; ability to pay, the unit costs of the service, and the impact of charges on demand. It includes a checklist that councils can follow when considering and setting charges.

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