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Declarations of Interest
All Members are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter
(i) any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or
(ii) other interests arising under the Code of Conduct
in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
MATTER OF REPORT
(a) following consultation with the major preceptors, the Local Discretionary Relief Scheme, as attached at Appendix A1 of the report, be adopted;
(b) the Pubs Relief Scheme, as attached at Appendix B of the report, be adopted; and
(c) the Supporting Small Businesses Relief Scheme, as attached at Appendix C of the report, be adopted.
(Link to Council Priorities: All)
As part of the Government’s spring budget, three National Non-Domestic Rates relief schemes had been announced. These schemes aimed to reduce the impact on Business Ratepayers given that the 2017 revaluation exercise had resulted in some significant increases in the Rateable Values of business properties in Elmbridge.
In this regard, the Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Resources considered a report that sought agreement to adopt three locally set schemes, namely a Local Discretionary Relief Scheme; a Pubs Relief Scheme; and a Supporting Small Businesses Relief Scheme.
With regard to the Local Discretionary Relief Scheme, the Leader and Portfolio Holder noted that the Government had established a national £300m discretionary business rate relief fund to be spread over four years, so that local discretionary support would be available to assist those ratepayers most affected by the revaluation. In this regard, the Council had been awarded £827,000 in 2017/18; £402,000 in 2018/19; £165,000 in 2019/20; and £24,000 in 2020/21. National companies and ratepayers with more than five premises would be excluded from this relief. It was further noted that the Council had to use their annual allocation within each year and would not be allowed to carry forward any unspent allocation. Therefore, the Scheme had been written in such a way that, prior to the financial year end, the Council would be able to distribute to eligible businesses any funds still undistributed as of January 2018.
In respect of the Pubs Relief Scheme, a £1,000 discount would apply to eligible pubs with a rateable value of up to £100,000 in 2017/18. The cost of this relief scheme would be fully met by Government using grants under Section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003.
The Supporting Small Businesses Relief Scheme was intended to support properties that were losing some or all of their Small Business Rate Relief as a result of the 2017 Revaluation. Eligible ratepayers would remain in the Scheme for either 5 years or until they reached the bill they would have paid without the Scheme.
Whilst both the Pubs Relief Scheme and Supporting Small Businesses Relief Scheme were discretionary, in order to receive funding the schemes needed to follow Central Government rules and guidance. The Leader and Portfolio Holder acknowledged that the Council only had discretion in respect of how the scheme would operate for the Local Discretionary Relief Scheme although this discretion would still be subject to financial constraints.
The Leader and Portfolio Holder noted that consultation would be undertaken with local businesses regarding the Local Discretionary relief scheme during January and February 2018 for the 2018/19 Scheme. Consultation had already been undertaken with the major preceptors (Surrey County Council and Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner) and no comments had been received in this regard.
During consideration of the report, whilst supporting the adoption of the three National Non-Domestic Rates relief schemes, the Leader and Portfolio Holder for Resources considered it appropriate that a press release be drafted to publicise that ... view the full minutes text for item 2/17