Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 30th March, 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE. This meeting will be livestreamed here: https://bit.ly/HarrogateYouTube (Copy and paste the link in your browser).. View directions

Contact: Elizabeth Jackson, Democratic Services Manager  Tel: 01423 500600 Email:  democraticservices@harrogate.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

109.

Apologies for Absence:

Minutes:

109/21 – APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTES: There were no apologies for absence.

 

(5.30 pm)

 

110.

Declarations of Interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

110/21 – DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: There were no declarations of interest.

 

(5.30 pm)

 

111.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 360 KB

of the meeting of 1 March 2022

Minutes:

111/21 – MINUTES: The Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 1 March 2022 were approved unanimously as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

(5.31 pm)

 

112.

Exempt Information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt information items.

Minutes:

112/21 – EXEMPT INFORMATION: There was no exempt information.

 

(5.31 pm)

 

113.

The Disposal of Flats 80A, 82A, 82B and 82C at Knaresborough High Street: pdf icon PDF 159 KB

The Executive Officer Strategic Property and Major Projects to submit a written report.

Minutes:

113/21 – THE DISPOSAL OF FLATS 80A, 82A, 82B AND 82C AT       

               KNARESBOROUGH HIGH STREET: The Executive Officer Strategic Property and Major Projects submitted a written report in which approval was sought for the disposal of the long leasehold of four flats on Knaresborough High Street.  On 2 October 2019 the Council had bought four properties which had been empty for many years with the intention of renovating the properties to improve the appearance of the building and contribute to the vitality of the High Street.  Two of the flats had been refurbished, and two new flats created, which the Council were now in a position to sell.  In addition to the residential units the Council had refurbished two retail units, which would be retained by the Council.

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That    (1) the disposal by way of long lease of the flats 80A, 82A, 82B, and 82C High Street Knaresborough (“the Flats”) be agreed; and

           

(2) authority be delegated to the Director of Economy, Environment and Housing in consultation with the Head of Legal and Governance to agree the final sale price of each flat and complete the negotiation of the contract for the sale of the flats.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

The acquisition, refurbishment and disposal of these properties has brought long-term empty properties back into use and would support the viability of Knaresborough High Street.

 

By disposing of the Flats via long leasehold, it was anticipated that a capital receipt of circa £880,000 will be achieved.

 

By disposing of a long leasehold and retaining the freehold of the properties Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) would retain control over the quality and frequency of future external repair and maintenance of these high profile high street buildings. HBC would continue to manage and let the two retail units for place shaping purposes.

 

Alternative options considered and recommended for rejection:

 

The Council retain the Flats and manage them directly. This was rejected as the Flats had been determined as not suitable for social rented homes.

 

To sell the Flats freehold. This was rejected - to dispose of the freehold of the Flats would not be compatible with the place shaping aims of the project.

 

(5.32 pm to 5.36 pm)

 

 (D)

 

114.

Non-Domestic Discretionary Rates Relief Policy 2022/23: pdf icon PDF 168 KB

The Revenues, Welfare and Customer Services Manager to submit a written report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

114/21 – NON-DOMESTIC DISCRETIONARY RATES RELIEF POLICY 2022/23: The Revenues, Welfare and Customer Services Manager submitted a written report which sought approval for changes to the Non-domestic Discretionary Rates Relief Policy from April 2022 to reflect the rate reliefs available in 2022/23 including the Government budget announcements to support retail, hospitality and leisure properties and those ratepayers entitled to transitional relief and Supporting Small business (SSB) Relief.  A copy of the draft Policy was attached at Appendix A. 

 

Discretionary rates relief enabled councils to have some flexibility in areas of relief awarded to businesses to support the local economy. Paragraph 5.2 of the report listed the different categories of relief which were available and the changes for the year were set out in the report.  The Chancellor had announced the introduction of a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure business rates relief scheme to support the businesses which made high streets and town centres a success and helped them adapt to changing customer demands by providing 50% relief.  The re-introduction of 50% rate relief was also proposed for eligible Childcare providers.  This had been in the policy two years ago, but had been replaced by COVID-19 national relief. The Government had also announced that the current transitional relief scheme supporting small businesses would be extended by a year. 

 

As these were temporary measures there was no change to legislation and local authorities were required to award the reliefs using discretionary relief powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988. 

 

RESOLVED (UNANIMOUSLY):

 

That the Non-domestic discretionary rates relief policy (Appendix A) to be implemented from 1 April 2022 be approved.

 

Reasons for decision:

 

The policy included the changes necessary to implement the national business rate measures announced by Government and the continuation of local support for businesses over and above what was available nationally to enhance the local economy.

 

Alternative options considered and recommended for rejection:

 

To continue with the current Non-Domestic discretionary rate relief policy which would not allow for the introduction of retail, hospitality and leisure relief within the district and extension of transitional relief and SSB relief as expected by Government and so was not recommended.

 

(5.37 pm to 5.44 pm)

 

 (D)