The Interim Chief Officer - Finance Performance and Change presented a report, recommending Cabinet adopt the Welsh Government’s Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief Scheme 2021- 22 and the Welsh Government’s Enhanced Hospitality and Leisure Rates Relief Scheme for 2021-22.
The Interim Chief Officer - Finance Performance and Change, explained that the two schemes aimed to help businesses to reduce their business rates charges for the period 01/04/21 to 31/03/22 in order to support continued occupation of High Street and retail premises, and to support those in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors. The Welsh Government announced a temporary extension of the current Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief Scheme for 2021-22 to support eligible occupied properties by offering 100% support to businesses within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value under £500,000. Premises that would benefit were detailed in Appendix A of the report, but broadly included those that had a rateable value of under £500,000, were occupied, and were shops, pubs and restaurants, gyms, performance venues and hotels across Wales. The Welsh Government also announced that an Enhanced Hospitality and Leisure Rates Relief Scheme would be available for the 2021-22 financial year, to support eligible occupied businesses within the hospitality, leisure and tourism sector in Wales with a rateable value over £500,000. The various categories of hospitality, leisure and tourism premises that would benefit from relief were set out in Appendix B to the report and included those that had a rateable value of over £500,000, were occupied, and were hotels, holiday parks and stadia across Wales The Welsh Government would provide 100% rates relief for eligible properties for the 2021-22 financial year.
The Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief Scheme for 2021-22 would run alongside the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme. It was estimated that there would be in the region of 1,000 eligible ratepayers across the borough that could potentially benefit from having no rates to pay for the 2021-22 financial year under these Schemes.
The Deputy Leader stated that this was a “good news” report and that the 1000 businesses across BCBC would be delighted to hear that the authority was adopting this initiative. The Deputy Leader asked for clarification as to whether or not those businesses that qualified in 2021, needed to re-apply for the relief. The Interim Chief Officer - Finance Performance and Change replied that they did not need to re-apply and this should be automatically applied to their accounts in almost every case.
The Leader asked if a business should expect to receive a bill from the authority even if it was for zero or if they should expect to receive any communication outlining that they had received rates relief on their account.
The Interim Chief Officer - Finance Performance and Change, confirmed that they would receive a bill with the automatic dispensation on it. She added that she did not have the exact information with her but she was under the impression that the bills had already been sent out. The Leader advised that a business could contact the authority if they did not receive confirmation that the relief had been applied and thanked the Interim Chief Officer - Finance Performance and Change and her team for administering the schemes.
RESOLVED That Cabinet adopted the Non Domestic Rates Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief Scheme for 2021-22 and the Enhanced Hospitality and Leisure Rates Relief Scheme for 2021-22 as detailed within Appendix A and Appendix B of the report.