{meta} Agenda item - Business Rates Heat Network Relief.

Agenda item

Decision:

Salford City Council - Record of Decision

 

I, Councillor Hinds, Lead Member for Finance and Support Services, in exercise of the powers contained within the Council Constitution, do herby approve:

 

The arrangements to administer the Heat Network Relief using Local Authority discretionary relief powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, (as amended).

 

The Reasons are:  

In the final report of the Business Rates Review published October 2021 the government announced a 100% relief effective from 1 April 2023 for eligible low-carbon heat networks that have their own business rates bill.

 

At the Spring Statement 2022, the Chancellor announced that the heat network relief will apply from 1 April 2022.

 

As this is a measure for 2022/23 it is for individual local billing authorities to adopt a local scheme and determine in each individual case when, having regard to government guidance, to grant relief under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, (as amended).

 

From 1 April 2023 the government intends for the relief to be provided via legislation for a mandatory heat network relief.

 

 

Options considered and rejected were: It is for individual local billing authorities to adopt a local scheme and determine in each individual case when, having regard to government guidance, to grant relief under section 47. 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.

 

Assessment of Risk:Failure to support Businesses and issue an inaccurate 2022/2023 bill to eligible businesses

 

The source of funding is: 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.

 

Legal Advice obtained:Nicky Smith, Senior Solicitor

 

The report explains how the Heat Network Relief scheme will be administered in accordance with Government guidance. It should be noted that in the event of a change in circumstances which may render a property ineligible for the relief during the year the relevant rates bill can be amended. The guidance suggests, therefore, that when making an award, authorities should ensure that the conditions of the award make it clear that the relief is subject to the property’s continuing eligibility. 

 

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 2022/23. However, the government will fully reimburse local authorities for their share of the discretionary relief through section 31 grant based on outturn data submitted in the National Non-Domestic Rates 3 (NNDR 3) return for 2022/23.

Therefore, if all the requirements in the guidance for the awarding of the relief are followed, there should be an overall neutral financial impact on the council.

 

 

Procurement Advice obtained: NA

 

HR Advice obtained: NA

 

 

Climate Change Advice obtained: Michael Hemingway Principal Officer Climate change

This initiative is to be welcomed in encouraging the implementation of heat networks across Salford. Heat networks are an important element of our transition to Net Zero. They connect multiple heat users to provide reliable and lower carbon heat. Their efficiency and carbon-saving potential increases as they grow and connect to each other.

Heat networks can provide both heating and cooling, responding to the growing risk of overheating, and increased cooling demands required by buildings. This will become more important as climate change makes extreme heat events more likely.

 

 

The following documents have been used to assist the decision process:

 

Government Guidance

Business rates heat network relief: local authority guidance - GOV.UK

 

 

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 and Scrutiny Board.

 

 

 

Signed: Councillor Bill Hinds                                                                                

Lead Member for Finance and Support Services

Dated: 25 August 2022

 

 

This decision was published on Thursday 25 August 2022

 

This decision will come into force at 4.00 p.m. on Friday 2 September 2022 unless it is called-in in accordance with the decision-making process rules.

 

 

Supporting documents: