Agenda and draft minutes

Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool Joint Committee - Monday, 11th March, 2024 11.00 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds LS1 1UR

Contact: Helen Gray 0113 37 88657 

Link: to view the meeting

No. Item

PRESENT:   Mr A Cross (Bradford MDC)

Councillor S Dacre (Calderdale MBC)

Councillor P Davies (Kirklees MBC)

Mr P Heppenstall (Wakefield MDC)

Councillor C Douglas (City of York)


In Attendance:  V Bradshaw, LCC Chief Officer, Financial Services

R Colley (LCC), D Moore (LCC) and H Gray (LCC)




Election of Chair


Nominations were sought for the position of Chair. Councillor Lewis was nominated for the position of Chair, the nomination was seconded. Upon being put to the vote it was


RESOLVED – That Councillor Lewis 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.



Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration. (The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes).


No late items of business were added to the agenda.



Exempt information - possible exclusion of 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:

Councillor Hinchcliffe (Bradford) and Mr A Cross attended as substitute.

Councillor Scott (Kirklees) and Councillor P Davies attended as substitute.

Councillor Scullion (Calderdale) and Councillor Dacre attended as substitute.

Councillor Jeffrey (Wakefield) and Mr P Heppenstall attended as substitute.


Apologies were also received from R Tuddenham (Calderdale), S Mawson (Kirklees), T Riordan (Leeds), A Balchin and C Carter (Wakefield), I Floyd and D Mitchell (York).



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.



Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To approve as a correct record, the minutes of the previous meeting held on 28th July 2023.


RESOLVED – The minutes of the previous meeting held 28th July 2023 were agreed as a correct record.




2023/24 and 2024/25 Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool Financial Report pdf icon PDF 297 KB

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:


a)  The context in which the 2023/24 Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool was set up;

b)  The current position of the 2023/24 Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool, including the latest income projections for 2023/24;

c)  The proposed allocation of funding for 2023/24;

d)  The forecast levy payments and distribution of estimated Pool income for 2024/25; and

e)  The implications of the recent government consultation on improving the timeliness of local audit on the financial administration of the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool.


The report contained the following information:

·  The structure and governance arrangements of the current 2023/24 Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool which had been designated by government from 1st April 2023 under the 50% Business Rates Retention Scheme.


·  The projected Leeds City Region Pool Income 2023/24 was forecast in Table 1 of the report as £3.4m, in line with updated forecasts submitted by Member authorities in August 2023.


·  The risks to Pool funding were identified as the continuing risks to the economy, particularly the ongoing impact of the cost of living crisis which continued to pose a risk to business rates income and its associated general fund income streams. Risks to growth, Empty Rate Relief and bad debt costs remained elevated. For some Authorities a reduction in business rates may result in a safety net payment being required from the Pool, however it was reported that this was not currently projected.


·  Table 2 of the report presented the latest information about retained 2023/24 business rates income received from member authorities and indicated how close each member authority was to the safety net threshold using current forecasts. The Joint Committee was advised that the current position of each member authority in respect of the safety net was reviewed on a quarterly basis.


·  Table 3 of the report set out the projected £3.4m income to the 2023/24 Pool as at 31st January 2024, to be redistributed back to member authorities and which assumed that all the projected retained levy payments would be used to meet the Pool administration fee to Leeds City Council of £50,000, pay the £200,000 top-slice to City of York Council and then redistribute the remainder using the formula.


·  No further requests to fund regional projects by the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool had been received.


·  Table 4 of the report forecast income of £3.65m to the 2024/25 Pool and the possible distribution of the income back to member authorities, based on the member authority forecasts of retained Business Rates income for the purposes of their 2024/25 Budgets and submitted to government in their NNDR1 returns.


The report also set out the implications of the recent government consultation “Addressing the local audit backlog in England: Consultation” released on 8th February 2024 on the administration of the 2023/24 Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool and future pools. It was noted that since 2019/20 there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.