Agenda Item No. 7(b)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 26 APRIL 2017
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 24 APRIL 2017
C3538 NON DOMESTIC RATES – HIGH STREET RATE RELIEF SCHEME 2017-18 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES) -
Cabinet was provided with the High Street Rates Relief Scheme for 2017/2018 in respect of qualifying business premises within the Vale of Glamorgan area under discretionary relief powers in accordance with section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.
An announcement was made on the 17 December, 2016 by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government, Mark Drakeford AM, regarding an extra £10 million being made available to help High Street retailers with their non-domestic rates.
The relief was aimed at High Street retailers in Wales and included those retailers that had seen an increase in their rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation undertaken by the Valuation Office Agency.
There were two levels of support available; Tier 1 which was the lower level of support up to a maximum of £500 and Tier 2 which was the higher level of support up to a maximum of £1,500.
Tier 1 – Eligible ratepayers would be High Street retailers whose properties had a rateable value of between £6,001 and £12,000 for the financial year 2017-18 and who met the following criteria:
• were in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief on 1 April, 2017; and/or
• were in receipt of Transitional Relief on 1 April, 2017.
Tier 2 – Eligible ratepayers would be High Street retailers whose properties had a rateable value of between £12,001 and £50,000 for the financial year 2017-18 and who met the following criteria:
• were not in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Transitional Relief on 1 April, 2017; and
• Had an increase in their liability on 1 April, 2017 as a result of the 2017 revaluation.
In order to ensure maximum take-up, whilst minimising the administrative burden for ratepayers and local authority staff, where qualifying businesses could be identified then any entitlement would automatically be awarded without the need of an application.
The remaining businesses who may qualify for assistance would be sent an application form in order for the Council to determine their eligibility.
The various types of businesses eligible for relief would be occupied High Street properties such as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments. More detailed eligibility criteria were shown in the Welsh Governments Non-domestic Rates High Street Rates Relief Guidance that was attached at Appendix A to the report.
A model resolution was attached at Appendix C to the report for the Council to adopt this discretionary relief.
After this item had been presented, the Cabinet Member for Visible, Leisure and Regulatory Services commented that the Welsh Government High Street Rates Relief Scheme gave support to Local Businesses.
This was a matter for Executive and Council decision
Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein
(1) T H A T Cabinet recommends to full Council the following:
Adopts the High Street Rates Relief Scheme for 2017-18 in accordance with the provisions contained in Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.
Resolves to award relief to all qualifying businesses as in accordance with the Non-domestic Rates High Street Rates Relief Guidance issued by the Welsh Government at Appendix A to the report.
Resolves to automatically award entitlement to those qualifying business that can be identified through records held by the Council.
Resolves to award entitlement to the remaining businesses that may be eligible following receipt of a valid application form.
(2) T H A T the use of Article 14.14 of the Council’s Constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised in respect of resolution 1 above.
Reasons for decisions
(1&2) To enable a scheme to be adopted using discretionary relief powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 for the provision of High Street Rates Relief for qualifying business premises within the Vale of Glamorgan area for the period 1 April, 2017 to 31 March, 2018.