Southport’s UKIP party think they are a charity case? May 31st, 2016 webteam Latest News Shares Comments UKIP think they are a charity case? Do UKIP think they are a charity case? They’ve applied for rate relief on that shop on Lord Street that had all the flags outside it(above). Sefton Council officers, as you will see from the report have given Mr Fergusson ‘the bum’s rush’ in their recommendations (refusal) below. Report to: Cabinet Member – Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services Date of Report: 24 May 2016 Date of Decision: 1 June 2016 Subject: Application for Discretionary Rate Relief – Mr. Gordon Ferguson Report of: Chief Finance Officer Wards Affected: Dukes Is this a Key Decision? No Is it included in the Forward Plan? No Exempt/Confidential No The following Appendices are attached to this report Appendix 1: Application Form, Consent to Disclose Information, State Aid Declaration Appendix 2: Additional Evidence Appendix 3: Additional Evidence. Purpose/Summary This report seeks approval to reject an application for 100% discretionary rate relief in respect of a shop and premises run by Mr. Gordon Ferguson. Recommendation That the Cabinet Member rejects the application from Gordon Ferguson for 100% discretionary rate relief amounting to £325.59 for the financial year 2015/16, in respect of the shop and premises at 597 Lord Street, Southport, PR9 0AN. How does the decision contribute to the Council’s Corporate Objectives? Reasons for the Recommendation: Gordon Ferguson occupied 597 Lord Street, Southport from 17 January to 10 May 2015. The property was used as an information centre to promote a political party. The application is for 100% relief for the period 17 January to 10 May 2015. Unfortunately, the legislation states that “A decision of a billing authority with regard to discretionary relief is invalid if it is made more than six months after the end of the financial year to which it relates”. Therefore, as the application was received on 7 January 2016, it is no longer possible to deal with the application for the period 17 January to 31 March 2015. The application, therefore, is for 100% discretionary rate relief for the period 1 April to 10 May 2015. The gross liability for business rates for the period 1 April to 10 May 2015 is £514.10. Small Business Rate Relief of £188.51 has been granted, leaving a net rate liability of £325.59. The application for discretionary rate relief shows that The premises were used for 54 hours per week. The main aim of the occupation was to provide information on political views and help resolve local resident issues. The shop was run by volunteers. 95% of people that used the centre were resident in Sefton. There are no accounts or bank statements as no amounts were recorded. No documents are available with regards to the lease agreement. However, the use of the property at Lord Street was loaned to Mr. Ferguson by the owner through a third party. The agreement was to use the premises for the promotion of the political party until the May 2015 Election. There are no Articles of Association. There is no longer any political material available. Mr. Ferguson provided the labour, materials and equipment at his own personal cost. There are no records of these amounts. A few voluntary donations were made to the political party by the public and were handed to the Treasurer of the political party without deduction of costs. These donations did not cover the costs incurred in running the premises. Mr. Ferguson has provided very little evidence to support his application, despite being asked to provide a number of supporting documents. There is no evidence of any financial records and Mr. Ferguson has not provided any information to indicate what the impact of not awarding relief would be. He has also not demonstrated how an award of discretionary relief would benefit the wider community within Sefton. What will it cost and how will it be financed? (A) Revenue Costs Gordon Ferguson has applied for £325.59 discretionary rate relief in respect of 2015/16. The table below illustrates total expenditure if relief is granted as requested and how it will be funded. (B) Capital Costs None Implications: The following implications of this proposal have been considered and where there are specific implications, these are set out below: Impact on Service Delivery: None What consultations have taken place on the proposals and when? The Chief Finance Officer (FD 4146/16) has been consulted and any comments have been incorporated into this report. The Head of Regulation and Compliance (LD 3429/16) has been consulted and has no comments on the report. Are there any other options available for consideration? The ratepayer has applied for £325.59 discretionary rate relief to reduce their rate liability at 597 Lord Street, Southport. The total rate liability for 2015 /16 is £325.59. The discretionary top up rate relief application can be refused or an alternative percentage of relief can be granted, as shown in the table below:- Implementation Date for the Decision Following the expiry of the “call-in” period for the Cabinet Member decision. Contact Officer: Margaret Rawding, Chief Finance Officer Tel: 0151 934 4096 Email: [email protected] Contact Officer: Angela Ellis, Customer and Transactional Services Support Manager Tel: 0151 934 2154 Email: [email protected] Background Papers: There are no background papers available for inspection. 1. Introduction/Background 1.1 This report is to consider an application for discretionary rate relief under the provisions of section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (as amended by section 69 of the Localism Act 2011). 1.2 Under the provisions of this Section, local authorities have the discretion to grant up to 100% relief to organisations. Should the Cabinet Member approve the granting of relief, 49% of the cost will be met by the Council, the Government will fund 50% and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority 1%. 2. Application 2.1 Gordon Ferguson has applied for £325.59 discretionary rate relief in respect of premises at 597 Lord Street, Southport, for the financial year 2015/16. 2.2 The Application, Consent to Disclosure and State Aid Declaration can be found in Appendix 1. 2.3 Additional Evidence can be found in Appendices 2 and 3. Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. 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