West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is pleased to report that West Lancashire Borough Council has commenced the rebilling process for the Discretionary Business Rates Scheme.
The business rates re-billing will provide many small businesses with financial support through a rebate settlement from the government’s funding allocation to local authorities.
Rosie Cooper MP initially contacted West Lancashire Borough Council about the rate relief schemes and publicising the eligibility criteria for local businesses.
Although assured by the Chief Executive that the financial allocations would be made by early October, this unfortunately did not happen.
Marcus Jones MP, Minister for Local Government contacted Rosie to raise this issue and requested her to urge West Lancashire Borough Council to get on with the rebilling.
With West Lancashire being the only one out of 14 councils in Lancashire failing to commence rebilling for the Discretionary scheme, and the risk of any unspent monies being returned to central government, Rosie again wrote to the Chief Executive.
It has since been confirmed that having consulted with Lancashire County Council on the matter, West Lancashire Borough Council has commenced the rebilling process.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“It has been a long time coming but I am pleased to confirm that in addition to the Supporting Small Business and Support for Pubs schemes, West Lancashire Borough Council are now also rebilling for the Discretionary Business Rates scheme.
“This is good news for many businesses in West Lancashire who will benefit from the financial support through the rebate settlement. With high streets declining across the country and businesses struggling with the battle against online competition, it is important national and local government is doing everything it can to promote sustainability and growth for businesses.
“I am pleased that the council are now getting on with the process and that it appears we won’t lose out on the £169,000 allocated by the department to support local business.
“For any business in West Lancashire who thinks they may be eligible make sure to get in touch with West Lancashire Borough Council for more information on the eligibility criteria.”
At the Spring Budget 2017, the Chancellor announced a £435 million package of support for business ratepayers over the next 4 years, following the 2017 business rate revaluation.
The package of support comprises 3 schemes:
- a scheme to cap the annual bill increase for any ratepayer losing small business rate relief or rural rate relief as a result of the revaluation
- a £300 million fund for local authorities to distribute over 4 years to help hard-pressed businesses facing higher business rates bills
- a £1,000 discount to pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000
Local billing authorities are responsible for the delivery of the schemes in their areas.
The Minister for Local Government laid a written ministerial statement on 14 September stating that the government would publish a list of billing authorities (unitary and lower-tier local authorities) which had rebilled for each of the 3 schemes.
The table lists each of the authorities that have confirmed to MHCLG that they have begun rebilling for each scheme.
The list will be updated regularly to capture additional progress.