{meta} Agenda for Lead Member for Finance and Support Services Briefing on Thursday, 3 February 2022, 9.00 am

Agenda and decisions

Venue: Microsoft Teams Meeting. View directions

Contact: Claire Edwards 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence.

2.

Declarations of interest.

3.

Items for Decision (Part 1 - Open to the Public):

3a

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Third Top Up Funding. pdf icon PDF 337 KB

Decision:

Salford City Council - Record of Decision

 

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

 

  • The proposal to provide ARG Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (ARG-OHLG) funding to those businesses in shared accommodation whose main business is in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors in line with the amounts of grant for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) paid to those businesses in the same sectors that pay business rates.  

 

  • The proposal to provide ARG Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (ARG-OHLG) funding to those businesses who supply to businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors in line with the amounts of grant for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) paid to those businesses in the same sectors that pay business rates.  

 

  • The proposal to close applications for the previous ARG Top Up Grant with immediate effect.

 

  • The proposal to provide additional funding In March 2022 to those businesses in the Hospitality and Events sectors – and those that supply to them – that received either the OHLG or the ARG-OHLG as these businesses have been most severely affected by the Omicron variant.

 

The Reasons are:

 

On the 21 December 2021, The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that new funding was to be made available to support those businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors. Central Government recognised that as people were exercising more caution as they go about their lives because of the rise in the Omicron variant, these businesses were facing huge uncertainty at a crucial time.

 

Funding for a new Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) for those businesses in these sectors and who pay business rates was announced with set grant levels for different business sizes.

 

A third round of Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Top Up funding was announced. The guidance for this encourages local authorities support those businesses in the same hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors in shared accommodation and the supply chain to these sectors. 

 

Salford City Council’s share of the new third round ARG Top up funding is £461,459.81. The accompanying report provides a summary of the guidance for the third round ARG Top Up funding issued by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and proposals to deliver grant funding to impacted businesses in shared accommodation and the supply chain in line with the OHLG and to provide additional funding to all businesses receiving either a OHLG or an ARG-OHLG in March 2022, funding permitting.  

 

Options considered and rejected were: Not to take this course of action.

 

Assessment of Risk: Low

 

The source of funding is: Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Third Top Up Funding.

 

Legal Advice obtained: Tony Hatton, Principal Solicitor

 

The accompanying report sets out proposals to make further discretionary grant funding available to businesses, which have more recently been affected by Covid-19, in particular the Omicron variant, via the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) and the third top up of Additional  ...  view the full decision text for item 3a

3b

COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 680 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Salford City Council - Record of Decision

 

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

 

The arrangements 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.

 

The Reasons are:

 

On 25 March 2021 the government announced a new COVID-19 Additional relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion. The fund will be 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 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 is not changing 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.

 

Options considered and rejected were: Not to take this course of action.

 

Assessment of Risk: Low

 

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

 

Legal Advice obtained: Nicky Smith, Senior Solicitor

 

It is important that the administration of the Scheme by the Authority complies with the requirements of the Government Guidance, and the main body of the report clarifies how this will be achieved. The proposals will also comply with the requirements of s.47 Local Government Finance Act 1988.

 

Financial Advice obtained: David Eden, Finance Manager

 

The awarding of this relief will reduce the gross liability and thus the collection fund’s income for 2021/22. 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 will receive “on-account” payments of section 31 grant throughout the year to ensure that its cashflow is not adversely affected by the relief. 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                          Tel. 0161 793 3641

 

 

This decision is not subject to consideration by another Lead Member.  ...  view the full decision text for item 3b

4.

Exclusion of the Public.

5.

Items for Decision (Part 2 - Closed to the Public): No items.