William Eichler 05 August 2019

Councils accused of ‘criminalising’ businesses over rates arrears

Councils accused of ‘criminalising’ businesses over rates arrears image

Local authorities are ‘criminalising’ struggling businesses such as pubs and shops by taking them to court over non-payment of business rates, a real estate advisor claims.

A study by Altus Group found that last year 190,000 non-domestic premises such as pubs, shops, restaurants and offices in England were hauled before a Magistrate for business rates arrears.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the real estate advisor asked councils to provide details on how many businesses had been summonsed between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019.

Information was provided on 1,740,073 out of the 1,933,963 non-domestic properties liable for business rates and show a total of 171,018 summonses were issued.

Altus Group estimates that the overall figure is likely to be 190,070 and infers that around 750 summonses were made every working day.

The company also found that Westminster council summonsed the most businesses (6,882) during the time period studied, with Birmingham (6,166) and Manchester (5,228) second and third respectively.

Richmond & Wandsworth summonsed the highest percentage (27.6%) of its local businesses over business rates arrears.

Robert Hayton, head of UK Business Rates at Altus Group, said that ‘a tax stimulus was desperately needed’, adding: ‘major retail and hospitality businesses were reducing their estates and headcount often citing high level of rates as a contributory factor whilst other sectors, such as manufacturing, were hurting too.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Adult Care Operations

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
Competitive Salary
As Director of Adult Care Operations, you will be the operational lead for the service, driving practice improvement, enhancing... Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Recuriter: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Adult Social Care - Process Assurance Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £23197 per annum
Job PurposeECC Adult Social Care, through effective practice, is moving towards a transformational shift from a focus on long-term care support, to a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Learning Support Assistant

Essex County Council
£17000 - £18938 per annum
Learning Support Assistant Permanent, Part Time £18,938 per annum (FTE) Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Legal Support Officer – Housing & Litigation

City of York Council
£20,422 - £21,552 per annum
This role will provide support to the Legal Services Housing and Litigation team. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Social Worker - Discharge to Assess

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella
About the RoleWorking to support adults, and their families, who have complex social needs and are more vulnerable as a result of disability, exclusi England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue