Decision details

Business Rates Discretionary Relief Scheme

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


To introduce changes to the current policy which enable the council to distribute government grants to those businesses who were adversely impacted by the non-domestic rate revaluation process, which took effect from 1st April 2017.


Councillor Philip Whitehead presented the report which sought agreement on proposals to amend the Business Rate Discretionary Relief Policy in order to award additional funding to those ratepayers who are facing an increase in their bills following revaluation with effect from April 2017.


Issues highlighted in the course of the presentation and discussion included: that the scheme had no impact on discretionary relief for village halls; how the scheme was designed so that chain establishments did not benefit; and the number of establishments that would be positively affected.


Following a short debate, the meeting;




To agree changes to the discretionary rate reduction scheme set out at section 6 of this report, with effect from April 2017.


Reason for Decision:


On 8March 2017 the Chancellor announced that new schemes of relief would be made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of revaluation. He set out three schemes and how they would be funded over four years from 2017/18. The Chancellor stated that local government is best placed to determine how this fund should be targeted and administered to support those businesses that are in greatest need.


This report explains the three schemes, how they will integrate with the existing discretionary rate relief schemes and how the schemes are funded. The report goes onto explain the criteria for awarding the reliefs, the process to ensure the ‘best-buy’ for the customer and how those funds will be directed.


The Government’s intention is that every billing authority in England will identify recipients of the new reliefs and be provided with a share of the £300 million to support their local businesses and will be administered through existing discretionary relief powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988. The proposal sets out the criteria and process by which new relief will be awarded.

Reason Key: Expenditure > £500,000;

Other reasons / organisations consulted

Potential applicants will be identified, consulted and invited to apply for additional discretionary rate reliefs.


It is anticipated that around 600-700 businesses could be affected and engaged during the consultation and determination process.

Contact: Ian P Brown, Head of Revenues and Benefits Email: Tel: 01225 716701.

Report author: Ian P Brown

Publication date: 14/09/2017

Date of decision: 12/09/2017

Decided at meeting: 12/09/2017 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: