Rediscover your borough this Christmas

Ratepayer Consultation 2021

National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) – Consultation with Ratepayers

The Council is required under Section 65 of the Local Government Act 1992 to consult non-domestic ratepayers on proposals for expenditure (revenue and capital) in advance of the financial year. Section 65 is set out below for information.

  1. A relevant authority shall consult under this section persons or bodies appearing to it to be representative of persons subject to non-domestic rates under sections 43 and 45 of the 1988 Act as regards hereditaments situated in the authority’s area.
  2. Consultations must be made as to each financial year, and must be about the authority’s proposals for expenditure (including capital expenditure) in that financial year; and the Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe matters which are to be treated as expenditure for this purpose.
  3. In this section “relevant authority” means a billing authority or a major precepting authority.
  4. The duty to consult as to a financial year shall be performed—
    1. where the authority is a billing authority, before it makes calculations (otherwise than by way of substitute) in relation to the financial year under section 32 above;
    2. where the authority is a precepting authority, before it issues the first precept to be issued by it for the financial year.
  5. In performing the duty to consult, an authority shall have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State concerning—
    1. persons or bodies to be regarded for the purposes of this section as representative of persons subject to non-domestic rates under sections 43 and 45 of the 1988 Act as regards hereditaments situated in the authority’s area; and
    2. the timing and manner of consultations under this section.
  6. An authority shall make available to persons or bodies it proposes to consult under this section such information as may be prescribed and is in its possession or control; and it shall do so in such form and manner, and at such time, as may be prescribed.

Each year, the Council consults with its National Non-Domestic Ratepayers with regard to its overall financial position, and on its plans for the year ahead. Consultation is being made in writing with organisations representing businesses within the borough, and a notice will also be placed on the Council’s website. 

Central Government allocates funding to local government through the local government finance settlement.  Due to the uncertainty around Brexit the Government has announced a one-year only spending plan for 2020/21, with a stated focus on funding people’s priorities, high quality healthcare, education and reducing crime. A full multi-year spending review will be conducted in 2020 for budgets beyond 2020/21 and will take into account the nature of Brexit and set out plans for long term reform of local government funding.

The one-year settlement means that there is no certainty over the Council’s funding levels after March 2021, which hampers meaningful financial planning at a time when demand pressures are increasing. Gedling’s cumulative funding reductions equate to 38% or £1.86m in cash terms over the period 2016/17 to 2020/21. Looking back further, 2010/11 was the first year that the Chancellor introduced austerity measures.  Since then, the Council has lost funding of 65% or £5.8m.  Settlement funding now accounts for only 27% of the Council’s funding, compared with 60% in 2010/11.

Despite these continuing significant budgetary pressures, the Leader of the Council has reaffirmed the Council’s intention to maintain high quality services. In order to do this, the Council will have to continue delivery of its planned £6.5m efficiency programme, whilst striving to identify still more efficiencies and potential new income streams.

The Council remains committed to economic development in its area and will retain two hours free car parking across the borough in 2020/21, in recognition of the continued importance placed on its impact on local shopping centres.

Delivery of a number of manifesto pledges has also been reflected in the 2020/21 budget with significant commitments including:

  • continuing capital improvements in major town centres, including developments in the Arnold Market area and Carlton Square;
  • providing targeted business support to small and medium businesses across the borough;
  • working with local businesses to develop a work experience and apprenticeship programme;
  • delivering town centre events and festivals;
  • offering every household one free bulky waste collection each year;
  • investment in parks and play areas;
  • implementation of carbon reduction initiatives;
  • working with the Police and Crime Commissioner to support a neighbourhood policing team.

Cabinet is expected to agree its budget recommendations to Council at its meeting on Thursday 13 February 2020, with Council meeting to decide the budget on Thursday 5 March 2020.

If you would like to make any comments regarding the 2020/21 budget, please email me at mike.hill@gedling.gov.uk. It would be helpful to receive any such responses by Tuesday 11 February 2020.