Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds LS1 1UR
Contact: Helen Gray 0113 37 88657
Link: to view the meeting
Councillors: P Davies (Kirklees MC)
S Dacre (Calderdale MBC)
J Lewis (Leeds CC)
and Mr N Warren (Wakefield MDC)
In Attendance: R Colley (LCC), D Moore (LCC) R Ellis (LCC) and H Gray (LCC)
Election of the Chair
Nominations were sought for the position of Chair.
Councillor S Hinchcliffe was nominated for the position of Chair, the nomination was seconded. Upon being put to the vote it was
RESOLVED – That Councillor S Hinchcliffe be elected as Chair for the duration of the meeting.
Appeal against refusal of Inspection of documents
To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 15.2 of the Access to Information Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded).
There were no appeals against the refusal of inspection of documents.
To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration. (The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes).
There were no late items of business.
Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the press and public
To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.
1) To consider whether or not to accept the officers’ recommendation in respect of the above information.
2) If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-
RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:-
The agenda contained no exempt information.
Apologies for absence
To receive apologies for absence (if any).
The following apologies for absence and notifications of substitutes were reported:
Councillors S Pandor (Kirklees MC), T Swift (Calderdale MBC), and D Jeffery (City of Wakefield MDC)
Councillors P Davies (Kirklees MC), S Dacre (Calderdale MBC), and N Warren (Wakefield) were in attendance as substitutes.
Apologies were also received from Councillor R Cooper (Harrogate BC) and Councillor P Widdowson (City of York), R Tuddenham, J Gedman, T Riordan, V Bradshaw and D Mitchell.
Declarations of Interest
To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.
No declarations of interest were made.
To approve as a correct record, the minutes of the previous meeting held on 16th September 2023.
RESOLVED – That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 16th September 2022 be agreed as a correct record.
To consider the report of the Chief Officer Financial Services, Leeds City Council, presenting the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool Financial Report
The Chief Officer (Financial Services), Leeds City Council submitted a report for consideration which set out the following:
· The context in which the 2022/23 Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool was set up;
· The current position of the Leeds City Region Pool, including the provisional 2021/22 financial outturn and the latest income projections for 2022/23;
· The proposed allocation of funding for 2021/22 and 2022/23;
· The process required to closedown the 2021/22 and 2022/23 Leeds City Region Business Rates Pools following the winding up of the current Joint Committee.
Additionally, the Joint Committee was reminded of the following matters:
· The contents of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
· That retained funding was used at the direction of the Joint Committee seeking to promote inclusive growth in the region, with residual benefit returned to member authorities based on the following formula for 2022/23
Ø 25% in proportion to population, to recognise the most significant driver of need,
Ø 25% in proportion to growth above the baseline, to continue to incentivise growth in the business rates tax base in the region,
Ø 25% in proportion to the levy payments made to the Pool, to recognise the contribution of the 3 levy-paying authorities to the income of the pool,
Ø 25% to the 4 top-up authorities in proportion to the top-ups they receive from Government, to recognise that without the participation of top-up authorities levy payments could not be retained within the region.
The report contained the following information:
· The projected levies as at 31st March 2022 were based on the provisional NNDR 3 returns detailing outturns for 2021/22 at £4.289m.
· During the application process to continue the Business Rates Pool into 2022/23, the estimate of additional funding that could be retained was estimated at £5.1m, however this had been updated as at January 2023 to £6.279m.
· The impact of the continued risks to the economy in the form of the cost of living crisis, risks to growth, Empty Rate Relief and bad debt costs which pose a risk to business rates and general fund income streams.
· Noted the MoU reflected the Government’s pooling prospectus which stated the nature of the pooling arrangement was to provide a safety net at 92.5% for authorities who see significant reductions from the rates retention scheme. The MoU therefore reflects that if an authority falls into the safety net position, the loss of income should be met by the retained levies from other authorities.
· The final audited position would become known when all 2021/22 member accounts are audited.
· For the 2022/23 Pool, the provisional NNDR3 returns will be submitted in June 2023.
The Joint Committee received assurance that whilst some authorities are close to the safety net threshold, no authority is currently forecast to breach the threshold.
The report also acknowledged that the 2021/22 and 2022/23 Leeds City Region Business Rates Pools will close on 31st March 2023, with Harrogate Borough Council withdrawing from the Pool following a Local Government Re-organisation ... view the full minutes text for item 27.