{meta} Decision - COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) 2021/22 Scheme 2.

Decision details

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Decision:

Salford City Council - Record of Decision

 

I, Councillor Hinds, in exercise of the powers contained within the Council Constitution do hereby:

 

§  Note the arrangements of Scheme 1 Approved 3.2.22 for the award of COVID-19 Additional Relief using Local Authority discretionary relief powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (as amended), to grant relief.

 

§  Approve the proposal to close applications for Scheme 1 on 30.6.22.

 

§  Approve the arrangements for Scheme 2 with effect from 1.7.22 for the award of COVID-19 Additional Relief to include other affected businesses specifically Advertisement Rights as well as capturing more businesses eligible under Scheme 1 by changing the Rateable Value Cap from £51,000 to £130,000.

 

The Reasons are:

On 25 March 2021, the government announced a new COVID-19 Additional relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion. The fund was available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates. The relief is available to reduce Business Rates chargeable amounts in respect of 2021/22.

 

On 15.12.21 the Department for Levelling Up Housing & Communities released the guidance for Local Authorities to administer COVID-19 Additional relief Fund (CARF) and published details of the Local Authorities funding allocation. Salford City Council allocation is £7,957,365.

 

As this is a measure for 2021/22 only, the government have not changed the legislation relating to the reliefs available to properties. It is for individual local billing authorities to adopt a local scheme and determine in each individual case when, having regard to the guidance, to grant relief under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (as amended), to grant relief.

 

The government will fully reimburse local authorities for the local share of the discretionary relief, using a grant under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003.

 

This report sets out the current arrangements in place under Salford City Council Scheme 1 for the award of COVID-19 Additional Relief and take up data. The proposal for continuing with support under a revised Scheme 2 to include other affected businesses in engineering, manufacturing and advertisement rights and a change to the Rateable Value Cap.

 

Options considered and rejected were:

The maximum Rateable Value has been changed to assess the impact on the funding allocation received to accurately determine which threshold does not exceed Salford allocation.  

 

Assessment of Risk: Please refer to Legal and Financial Implications.

 

The source of funding is: Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) 2021/22.

 

Legal Advice obtained: Nicky Smith, Senior Solicitor –

As with the first version of the Scheme, it is important that the administration of the Scheme by the Authority complies with the requirements of the Government Guidance, not least in order that Central Government will fully reimburse the 13 Authority for discretionary relief awards up to the minimum level of its allocation. The proposals will also comply with the requirements of Section 47 Local Government Finance Act 1988.

 

Financial Advice obtained: David Eden, Finance Manager –

The retrospective awarding of this relief in respect of 2021/22 will reduce the gross liability and thus the collection fund’s income for the current 2022/23 financial year. However, the government will fully reimburse local authorities for their share of the discretionary relief through section 31 grant up to the maximum funding allocation for each billing area. The maximum funding allocation for the area of Salford is £7,957,365. The council has received the full section 31 grant allocation up front to ensure that its cashflow is not adversely affected by the relief but any unused funding by the end of the scheme will need to be returned. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has confirmed that it will provide new burdens funding to cover matters such as IT costs, additional staff costs and rebilling.

 

The relief scheme should therefore have an overall neutral financial impact on the council as long as the total relief awarded does not exceed £7,957,365.

 

Procurement Advice obtained: N/A

 

HR Advice obtained: N/A

 

Climate Change Advice obtained: N/A

 

Contact Officer: Jane Betts, Service Manager – Business Rates               Tel: 0161 793 2710

 

 

This decision is not subject to consideration by another Lead Member.

 

The appropriate scrutiny panel to call-in the decision is the Overview & Scrutiny Board.

 

 

Signed: Councillor Hinds                                                        Dated: 30th June 2022

Lead Member for Finance & Support Services

 

 

This decision was published on 30th June 2022 

 

This decision will come into force at 4.00 p.m. on 7th July 2022, unless it is called-in in accordance with the decision-making process rules.

 

Publication date: 30/06/2022

Date of decision: 30/06/2022

Decided at meeting: 30/06/2022 - Lead Member for Finance and Support Services Briefing

Effective from: 08/07/2022

Accompanying Documents: