National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) – Consultation with Ratepayers

The Council is required under Section 65 of the Local Government Act 1992 to consult non-domestic ratepayers on proposals for expenditure (revenue and capital) in advance of the financial year. Section 65 is set out below for information.

  1. A relevant authority shall consult under this section persons or bodies appearing to it to be representative of persons subject to non-domestic rates under sections 43 and 45 of the 1988 Act as regards hereditaments situated in the authority’s area.
  2. Consultations must be made as to each financial year, and must be about the authority’s proposals for expenditure (including capital expenditure) in that financial year; and the Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe matters which are to be treated as expenditure for this purpose.
  3. In this section “relevant authority” means a billing authority or a major precepting authority.
  4. The duty to consult as to a financial year shall be performed—
  5. where the authority is a billing authority, before it makes calculations (otherwise than by way of substitute) in relation to the financial year under section 32 above;
  6. where the authority is a precepting authority, before it issues the first precept to be issued by it for the financial year.
  7. In performing the duty to consult, an authority shall have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State concerning—
  8. persons or bodies to be regarded for the purposes of this section as representative of persons subject to non-domestic rates under sections 43 and 45 of the 1988 Act as regards hereditaments situated in the authority’s area; and
  9. the timing and manner of consultations under this section.
  10. An authority shall make available to persons or bodies it proposes to consult under this section such information as may be prescribed and is in its possession or control; and it shall do so in such form and manner, and at such time, as may be prescribed.

Each year, the Council consults with its National Non-Domestic Ratepayers with regard to its overall financial position, and on its plans for the year ahead. Consultation is being made in writing with organisations representing businesses within the borough, and a notice will also be placed on the Council’s website.

The Council faces another challenging budget round as a result of further reductions in central government funding, and increases in inflation, including pay awards. The Council relies heavily on central funding to deliver its services, and any funding reductions require it to make further budget cuts and efficiencies, and to generate additional income in order to deliver a balanced budget in the short to medium term. 

The Government allocates funding over a four-yearly cycle known as the Comprehensive Spending Review, the current one being 2016-2020. Over this period the Council has faced funding reductions of 39%, or £1.91m in cash terms. Looking further back, 2010/11 was the first year that the Chancellor introduced his austerity measures. Since then, the Council has lost central government funding of 66%, or £5.8m.

Following the introduction of changes to the New Homes Bonus in 2016/17 the Council also faces a further reduction of £375,000 in its cumulative New Homes Bonus allocation for 2019/20, and further reductions are expected in the following years.

Despite the continuing budgetary pressures, the Leader of the Council has reaffirmed the Council’s intention to maintain high quality services. In order to do this, the Council will have to continue delivery of its planned budget reduction programme, whilst striving to identify still more efficiencies and potential new income streams. The Council remains committed to economic development in the Borough and will retain two hour’s free car parking across the borough in 2019/20, in recognition of the continued importance placed on its impact on local shopping centres.

Cabinet is expected to agree its budget recommendations to Council at its meeting on Thursday 14 February 2019, with Council meeting to decide the budget on Monday 4 March 2019.

If you would like to make any comments regarding the 2019/20 budget, email It would be helpful to receive any such responses by Tuesday 12 February 2019.