Business Rates the Truth

The Council says ” The VOA sets rateable values (RV’s) for every commercial property in the country” True

“And we have no control over this” this is At best Misleading

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The VOA base their rateable values for 2017 on rents agreed in 2015. When the Council used its position as a trusted landlord to increase rents by 200% in Town Centre Hatfield, it did so knowing or not caring that this would increase business rates in 2017.

They certainly knew, because I told them.

It is the smaller units that are most effected, so I have looked at VOA data on 30 units in Market Place Hatfield and taken an average.

In 2010 the average RV was £5,792.  In 2017 the average RV is set at £16,533 an increase of 185%. So what does this mean when it comes to rates payable?

Well right now, if your RV is less than £6,000 you get 100% small business rate relief (sbrr), ie you pay nothing.

If your RV is between £6,000 and £12,000 your sbrr reduces in a linear manner down to nil. Those busineses whose RV is greater than £12,000 will pay full rates, based upon the poundage set by the local council normally around 40% of RV.

So 40% of £16,533 = £6,613.20 which is an extra £550 a month. If you look at that across the 30 properties over a 5 year period, a normal lease, then you get £6,613.20 * 30 shops * 5 years = £991,980 or nearly a million pounds, and that is just one small shopping parade. This is a straightforward tax on local busineeses, jobs, community spirit, Innovation and health and wellbeing.

At a time when Conservative Central Office is talking about fairness and a redistribution of wealth to smaller businesses, this provides a very clear indication of what is going on in Welwyn and Hatfield. I asked John Dean why he was doing this and his response was that ” It is not the job of the council to look after the interests of business” Well that at least, is unambiguous. However nor is it Conservative Party Policy. And yet John Dean stands on a Conservative party ticket.

The Councils own policies are worth noting here.

It is hard to see how they are living up to their promises. It would seem there is something different going on!!

Here is the promise- What is your reality?

We will be honest, clear and consistent about what we do.

We will be fair in our policies and decision making, listening to the views and feedback we receive.

We will be approachable, accountable and transparent in the way we communicate and conduct our business.

We will have respect for residents, businesses, partners and employees.  


More revelations to follow shortly about the Ludwick Family Club, and Why the Council are putting their rent up from £1,000 to £20,000 per annum. 3,000 residents have signed a petition, and guess what? They have been completely ignored. Watch this space!!

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