What is the Community Infrastructure Levy?
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge which can be levied by local authorities on new development in their area. It is an important tool for local authorities to use to help them deliver the infrasture needed to support development in their area.
The levy only applies in areas where a local authority has consulted on, and approved, a charging schedule which sets out its levy rates and has published the schedule on its website.
Benefits to a Town/Parish Council
Where all or part of a chargeable development is within the area of a Town/Parish Council, the charging authority must pass a proportion of the CIL receipts from the development to that Council. The City of Ely Council will receive 15% of CIL receipts that arise from development in the parish. The Town/Parish Council must ues the CIL receipts to support the development of the Town/Parish Council’s area by funding provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure; or anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on the area.
What can the Community Infrastructure Levy be spent on?
The levy can be used to fund a wide range of infrastructure, including transport, flood defences, schools, hospitals, play areas, open spaces, parks and green spaces, cultural and sports facilities, academies and free shcools, district heating schemes and police stations and other community safety facilities.
Local authorities must spend the levy on infrastructure needed to support the development of their area, and they will decide what infrastructure is needed.
The levy can be used to increase the capacity of existing infrastructure or to repair failing existing infrastructure, if that is necessary to support development.
If a Town/Parish Council has failed to spend CIL funds transferred to them within a period of 5 years from the date of the initial receipt, or has not applied funds in accordance with the Regulations, then the District Council can serve a notice on that Council requiring it to repay some or all of the receipts that had been transferred to them. The District Council will then be required to spend any recovered funds in the Town/Parish Council’s area.
To ensure transparency, the Town/Parish Council must publish their total CIL receipts each year; total expenditure; a summary of what the CIL was spent on; and the total amount of receipts retained at the end of the reported year from that year and previous years.
CIL Sub-Committee Terms of Reference
The CIL Sub-Committee will comprise six Councillors. The Chairman of the Council will be the Chair of the CIL Sub-Committee. Three members of the Sub-Committee will constitute a quorum.
This allocation of funds should be to infrastructure and projects which will meet the Council’s identified priorities and those of the local community.
A fundamental principle of CIL spending should be to link and coordinate spending decisions to make best use of all available resources. CIL should not be used where other sources of funding are available and maximum impact will be achieved if CIL income is linked with other funds, eg external funding or used as match funding for other bids.
The regulations require the City of Ely Council to clearly and transparently set out our approach to engaging with the local community for decisions on the spending of the CIL money. There must be a process for the systematic engagement on how the City’s element of CIL is to be spent which could include, website, surveys, panels, newsletters etc.
Officer input at our Council and District Council is vital for sustainability.
The Council will identify its objectives over the short, medium and long term, with flexibility to identify emerging needs. Engagement needs to make use of existing mechanisms, groups and networks, eg ward Councillors, community organisations, business groups etc.
These objectives will also be identified from the Council’s Strategic Plan.
Committees can also submit Expressions of Interest/bids to the Sub-Committee for projects they have identified as could fit the criteria for CIL funding. These will be considered as to whether they fit the Strategic Plan and whether there is CIL money available to fund such a project.
The CIL Sub-Committee will consider:
- The Council’s objectives;
- Details of the likely CIL neighbourhood income already received or forecast to be received over the next 2-3 years;
- Other funding which may be available which could be used alongside CIL;
- Details of emerging ideas for projects arising from discussions;
- The strategy for community engagement;
- Report as a standing item to the Personnel, Finance & Governance Committee.
This information should be made available to communities so that the engagment process can take place.
The mechanism needs to be proportionate to the level of CIL funding available. As the funding comes on stream, the mechanism and complexity of engagement can be planned. This is an on-going process. The engagment will have to be appropriately publicised. Any proposed project of £50,000 and over, will be detailed on the Council’s website, social media and notice boards.
Local communities may suggest:
- Whether they wish the CIL money be used for any infrastructure elements of the Strategic Plan;
- The relative priority given to ideas emerging from the Sub-Committee;
- Other new project ideas;
- Whether they would prefer to see funds from one year retained for use in future years, when larger amounts of money may accrue, and large projects can be achieved;
- Any other available funding that could be used alongside CIL.
Following engagement, the CIL Sub-Committee will discuss the outcome of the engagement process and agree the recommendations to Full Council, via the Personnel, Finance & Governance Committee to be agreed as part of the Council’s Strategic Plan. A clear set of criteria will be set out on which decisions will be based and these will be publicised. These could consider:
- The outcomes that will be achieved from the proposed project;
- Deliverability (ie constraints to implementing the projects in the propsed timescale, and
- Availability of other funds, appropriateness of use of CIL.
The Council may also be able to consider if there are opportunities to pool the funds with other Council funding streams to achieve a bigger impact, eg Section 106.
Communities will be informed of the recommendations and will be provided with full feedback about the basis of which decisions have been made.
The process will be subject to review in light of experience in operationg it, as it is a rolling process which will affect the Council’s Strategic Plan.