Decisions

Use the below search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies, and officers.

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information just showing officer delegated decisions that have been taken by council officers.

For historical officer decisions before 10/11/2018 please see: List of Historical Officer Decisions

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Decisions published

15/01/2021 - Business Rates Forecast 2021/22 ref: 1510    Approved

The authority is required under paragraph 40 of schedule 1 to the Local Government finance Act 2012 to make calculations, and supply information on their anticipated collectable business rate income for the following year. This report sets out the calculations and seeks approval by the Council’s Chief Financial Officer. These figures will form part of the funding in relation to the Council’s 2021/22 budget.

The Local Government Finance Act 2012 amended the 1988 Local Government Finance Act to give local authorities the power to retain a proportion of funds obtained from business rates collected in their area.

The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government guidance requires each billing authority should formally set a Business Rate baseline each year. This baseline will be the authority’s estimate of the business rates it forecasts to collect in the following financial year, net of any reductions such as reliefs and the estimated cost of appeals.

The Government introduced pilot schemes in 2017/18 in advance of permanent reforms to business rate retention later in the parliament. Initially only authorities with signed devolution deals were eligible to participate in a pilot in 2017/2018. The pilot for the West of England (WoE) commenced in 2017/2018 and includes Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council and the West of England Combined Authority.

The 100% pilot gives the WoE the opportunity to retain 100% of any business rates growth over the next year, with no downside financial risk when compared to remaining in the national system. It also gives the WoE the opportunity to help shape the national scheme.

In line with the Government’s stated intention for the reforms to the Business Rate Retention system, authorities participating in a pilot will not have to pay a Levy on growth above their Retained Income target and will retain an increased Local Share of Non-Domestic Rating Income and sums due from Government paid via Section 31 grant. The Pilot includes the rolling in of the Revenue Support Grant with WECA receiving a small share of the business rates to reflect the rolling in of the DfT Integrated Transport Block and Highways Maintenance Capital Grants; this is shown in Table 1 below.

In line with the approval process for the Council Tax Base, the decision on the Business Rate forecast is delegated to the Council’s Chief Financial Officer. The Ministry of Housing, Communities &
Local Government requires the council to submit details of its forecast through a statutory return called the NNDR1. This return must be submitted by 31st January 2021.

The estimated business rate income for 2021/22 is £65.667m; of this the Council retains £22.115m after the tariff payment to the Government is taken into account. A breakdown is shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1 Business Rate Distribution

Anticipated Business Rate Distribution 2021/22
£m
Bath & North East Somerset Council Business Rate Income (Total business rates collected after deductions) 65.667
Central Share to Government 0.000
5% Share to WoE Combined Authority (3.283)
1% Share to Avon Fire Authority (0.657)
Deductions for Tariff (39.612)
Bath & North East Somerset Council estimated retained Business Rates 22.115

In past years, the Government has announced a series of measures that continue to affect the business rates income of Local Authorities in 2021/22. These changes were:

i. Capping the increase in the business rates multiplier at CPI instead of RPI with effect from 1 April 2018.

ii. Freezing of the business rates multiplier in 2021/22.


iii. Capping the increase in the business rates multiplier at 2% in both 2014/15 and 2015/16 (rather than it increasing in line with September RPI increases of 3.2% and 2.3%).

iv. A Supporting small business rates relief scheme to support those rate payers who lost all or some of their small business or rural rate relief due to revaluation.

v. The doubling of Small Business Rate Relief made permanent from 1st April 2017 with changes to eligibility thresholds.

vi. The doubling of rural rate relief to be awarded through discretionary relief until such time as the Government can make the necessary changes to primary legislation.

All the above measures will be compensated through payment of a section 31 grant. The Council has estimated the impacts of these reliefs and has included the estimate of grant income in its 2021/22 budget.

The Council’s budget for 2021/22 also reflects transactions relating to the business rate pooling arrangements within the West of England City Region Deal agreement. These arrangements have been set out in previous budget reports.

The Section 151 Officer is required to estimate the amount of any surplus or deficit on the Collection Fund relating to Business Rates as at 31st March 2021. This must be done by the 31st January 2021, and this report also asks the Director of Finance to approve the balance projected related to Business Rates.

As a result of pressures associated with the Coronavirus pandemic, and the potential for authorities to estimate larger-than-normal deficit on the 2020-21 Collection Fund, the Government has introduced legislation to allow authorities to spread certain elements of the estimated deficit on the 2020-21 Collection Fund over the three years 2021-22 to 2023-24.

After calculations of current year collection and adjustments to the business rate base in 2020/21, including making provision for appeals, it is estimated that the 2020/21 collection fund account position relating to business rates will be in deficit by £42.973m (after adjustment of £1.975m for the 3 year spread allowance). The deficit will be shared between the Council, WECA and Avon Fire Authority in line the 100% pilot shares. The Council’s share of the deficit to be recovered in 2021/22 is £40.394m.

The 2020/21 Council’s share of the estimated deficit includes £39.147m which relates to the extended retail relief, which was introduced by government after the 2020/21 budget was set. The s31 compensation grant in respect of this change is to be received in 2020/21 and will be transferred to the Business Rates Reserve so it is available in 2021/22 to offset recovery of this element of the deficit.

£1.975m of the deficit is budgeted for recovery in 2022/23 and 2023/24 in line with the Local Authorities (Collection Fund: Surplus and Deficit) (Coronavirus) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1202). The Council’s share is £1.857m.

The overall position of the forecast 2021/22 business rate income and the forecast 2020/21 deficit on the collection fund have been taken into account in the overall Council’s budget proposal which will be presented to Council on the 23rd February 2021.

Decision Maker: Director Finance - Section 151 Officer

Decision published: 26/02/2021

Effective from: 15/01/2021

Decision:

That the calculation of the Council’s business rate forecast for the year 2021/22 as set out in this report be approved. The total forecast Business Rate income for 2021/22 is £65.667m, of which the Council will retain £22.115m after allowing for the required tariff payment of £39.612m and the WoE Combined Authority and Fire Authority shares as shown in Table 1 of the report.

That the projected deficit on the collection fund as at the end of 2020/21 related to Business Rates is declared at £42.973m (after adjustment of £1.975m for the 3 year spread allowance). The Council’s share of the deficit to be recovered in 2021/22 is £40.394m, which includes an estimated £39.147m in respect of the enhanced Retail Relief which is compensated through government s31 revenue grant funding.

That £1.975m of the deficit is budgeted for recovery in 2022/23 and 2023/24 in line with the Local Authorities (Collection Fund: Surplus and Deficit) (Coronavirus) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1202). The Council’s share is £1.857m.

Lead officer: Andy Rothery


22/01/2021 - Appointment of Deputy Monitoring Officer ref: 1490    Approved

The Council is required to appoint a Monitoring Officer (Section 5 Local Government & Housing Act 1989). The Council appointed the former deputy Monitoring Officer, Michael Hewitt as Interim Monitoring Officer from the 1 December 2020.

Section 5(7) of the 1989 Act provides that the duties of a monitoring officer must be performed by him personally or, where he is unable to act owing to absence or illness, personally by such member of his staff as he has for the time being nominated as his deputy for the purposes of this section.

Decision Maker: Director Legal & Democratic

Decision published: 22/01/2021

Effective from: 22/01/2021

Decision:

To appoint Shaine Lewis the Acting Head of Legal Services as the Interim Deputy Monitoring Officer

Lead officer: Michael Hewitt


20/01/2021 - Capital Programme increase by £580k for Affordable Warmth Grant ref: 1489    Approved

To expand the existing Affordable Warmth Grant scheme to offer grants for energy efficiency upgrades and low carbon heating where required for poorly performing homes occupied by low income households, both renters and owner occupiers. Eligible upgrades for owner occupier’s homes will be fully funded and landlords will receive up to two thirds of the cost.

Decision Maker: Director of Economy & Growth

Decision published: 20/01/2021

Effective from: 20/01/2021

Decision:

To fully approve capital amounting to £580k for the Affordable Warmth Grant Scheme which will be funded by Green Homes Grant (£500k) and Affordable Warmth Grant (£80k).

Lead officer: Jack Latkovic


19/01/2021 - RULE 15 Next Steps Accommodation Programme ref: 1488    Approved

The Council’s £2.1m bid to the Next Steps Accommodation Programme organised by Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has been successful, being capital grant of £1.633m and balance of revenue support.  This funding will enable the delivery of up to 28 units of accommodation for former rough sleepers.

Decision Maker: Council Leader

Decision published: 19/01/2021

Effective from: 19/01/2021

Decision:

The Cabinet Members agree to:

 

1.  Authorise completion of the Next Steps Accommodation Programme funding agreement with the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and Homes England;

 

2.  Authorise new approval of the Affordable Housing Capital Programme for £2.4m, being funded by Grant awards for £1m for Governor Place and £633K Platform for Life, balance of funding from capital receipts earmarked for Affordable Housing provision.

 

3.  Authorise the delivery of the supported accommodation as detailed in the business cases, attached in the appendices.

 

 

Lead officer: Graham Sabourn


16/01/2021 - Schools Funding Formula ref: 1484    Approved

To decide on the specific changes to the school funding formula. Following consultation with the schools forum

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Children’s Services

Decision published: 18/01/2021

Effective from: 26/01/2021

Decision:

The Cabinet Member agrees to:

1)  Change the specific factor for sparsity in line with the NFF guidance;

2)  Inflate all factors at 3% (except Free School Meals at 2%) in line with DFE guidance;

3)  Set the Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) at 2%; and

4)  If necessary, to taper back all formula factors by the same percentage to ensure that schools allocation are contained within the schools block allocation.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Richard Morgan


06/01/2021 - Covid Winter Grant Scheme ref: 1485    Approved

Allocation of the Covid Winter Grant.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Resources

Decision published: 18/01/2021

Effective from: 26/01/2021

Decision:

The Cabinet Member agrees to delegate responsibility for decisions on grant allocation to the S151 Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Resources.

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Damien Peak


18/01/2021 - Asset Disposal: 117 Newbridge Hill, Bath ref: 1486    Approved

The report will seek a decision on the disposal of 117 Newbridge Hill, Bath to Aequus.

 

This decision has been Called In on 18th January 2021 by 9 Councillors for the following reasons:

 

  the decision to dispose of the asset at nearly half a million pounds below market value, and on a non-competitive basis, is contrary to the interests of Council Taxpayers in B&NES

  the case has not been made to justify the below market value disposal and so the asset should be listed on the open market, where it will fetch greater returns for the Council.

 

A meeting of the Corporate Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel will be convened to consider this within the 14 day deadline.

 

Call In outcome

 

On 8th February 2021 the Corporate Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel met and decided to dismiss the Call In.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Resources

Decision published: 18/01/2021

Effective from: 26/01/2021

Decision:

The Cabinet Member agrees to:

 

1.  Approve the disposal of 117 Newbridge Hill, Bath to ACL for £308k with the voluntary conditions detailed within this report;

2.  Authorise the Director of Economy & Growth to enter a Development Agreement with ACL for the redevelopment of the site into 6 apartments.

 

Wards affected: Newbridge;

Lead officer: Graham Sabourn


18/01/2021 - Aequus: Scheme Approval (117 Newbridge Hill) ref: 1487    Approved

The report seeks a decision on the business case submitted by Aequus to convert 117 Newbridge Hill, Bath into residential flats. It will also seek a decision on the funding agreement for the scheme.

Decision Maker: Council Leader

Decision published: 18/01/2021

Effective from: 18/01/2021

Decision:

The Leader of the Council, as Shareholder of ACL, agreed to:

  1. Approve the redevelopment of 117 Newbridge Hill, Bath into apartments by ACL in line with the Business Case detailed in the report;
  2. Approve the creation of a charge over the site and associated work in progress in favour of the Council;
  3. Agree that ACL may enter into an associated commercial loan agreement with the Council, as detailed in the report.

Wards affected: Newbridge;

Lead officer: Graham Sabourn