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23 September 2010
Just one week left for Merseyside’s firms to claim £7.5 million in
backdated small business rate relief
businesses across Merseyside could lose out on almost £7.5 million
in backdated rate relief unless they lodge claims by the 30
September deadline, the Forum of Private Business and property
specialist LeaseholdersUnited are warning.
Any small business occupying commercial premises between 1 April
2007 and April 2010 could be entitled to money back, but many firms
will miss out on Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) unless they act
Using official data from Merseyside’s councils, including the SBRR
claim and eligibility rates, LeaseholdersUnited has estimated the
amount of SBRR that is currently unclaimed per annum in each local
authority where reliable figures were available.
They are as
Liverpool City Council (£1,949,984); Knowsley Metropolitan Borough
Council (£317,665); Sefton (£664,066) and Wirral (£790,762).
These figures are for a single year. Businesses which claim before 1
October 2010 can often claim up to 3 years worth of backdated
relief. So a conservative estimate would be that approximately £7.5
million (at least two years worth) is still to be claimed by firms
in Merseyside out of the £200 million in total likely to be
outstanding in the UK.
According to LeaseholdersUnited’s Andrew Bacon, who is the Forum’s
Property Adviser, the problem is being made worse because too few
business owners are aware that they can claim the relief. He said
many local councils fail to provide details of the relief, publish
inaccurate information and that some even continue to provide
outdated, ineligible forms.
"Claiming backdated SBRR could mean that a small business paying
£5000 a year in rent gets a cheque back from the council that is
enough to cover overheads until March 2011, just for filling in a
form,” said Mr Bacon. Unfortunately, most councils are saying
nothing about the issue and many are handing out businesses forms
that actually stop them backdating their claim. This is something we
first highlighted back in 2008 and, despite assurances that it would
be tackled, the problem persists. Time is running out so it is
important to act now. The simple solution is for every business to
send in the correct claim form before 30 September 2010. Those who
are not eligible will simply be rejected but those that are eligible
will get the money they deserve. We can help them.”
Mr Bacon urged business owners to follow five simple steps in order
to make sure they submit claims before the 30 September 2010,
deadline using the correct forms:-
► Go to www.sbrr.co.uk
► Enter your local authority details and your email address
► Receive the correct form, together with completion notes and a fax
number for the Council
► Fill it in and fax it off before 30 September 2010
► If you are eligible the Council will send you a cheque and then
also automatically grant you any Small Business Rate Relief from 1
April 2010 onwards.
“Many businesses have downloaded claim forms for free from
www.sbrr.co.uk in the last two days, enabling them to claim as much
as £5,000 each. Had they waited until 1st October to do this, they
would only have been able to claim £2000”
Using official data including the SBRR claim and eligibility rates
LeaseholdersUnited has estimated the amount of SBRR that is
currently unclaimed in each local area of the UK.
Commenting on the figures the Forum’s Research Manager, Tom Parry,
said:- “For the first time, we can begin to see a picture of
the small business rate relief that is going unclaimed in each area
and it amounts to a substantial amount of money at a time small
firms in Merseyside are struggling to maintain any kind of cash
flow. It is now a race against time. The message to small business
owners is clear – if you are entitled to SBRR then lodge a claim
without delay using LeaseholdersUnited’s free online service.”
Business owners should be aware that, from October 2010, SBRR is set
to increase in England. Businesses with a rateable value of less
than £6,000 will pay no business rates for a year. Previously they
received a 50% discount.
Taper relief from 100% to 0 per cent will also be in place for
properties of over £6,000 and up to £12,000 in rateable value for
Further, empty property relief has been extended for 2010 to 2011 so
that all empty properties with a rateable value below £18,000 are
exempted from business rates.
Similar business rate relief schemes operate in Wales, Scotland and
LeaseholdersUnited’s free online claims system is one of a range of
services designed to help business owners keep on top of their
Others include CostMINDER, which gives businesses the information
they need to help them negotiate reductions in their rates, rent and
other property costs without employing a Surveyor and an Online
Valuation service, enabling businesses to instantly download an
independent estimate of the rental and capital on nearly every shop,
office or industrial property in England.
Forum members get a 50% discount on LeaseholdersUnited’s property
cost control services, which represents a saving of £150 a year.
The Forum helps its members save money and manage their finances
through its 'Finance Director' business support
Through the solution, the not-for-profit organisation provides its
members with expert advice on issues such as reducing business
costs, improving credit ratings, business monitoring and business
For a list of the estimated SBRR unclaimed in each area click
here and for more information
about the Forum call:- 0845 612 6266 or visit:-
POLICE APPEAL TO CLUBBERS IN LIVERPOOL FOR HELP OVER ASSAULT
Detectives on Merseyside are appealing to people going clubbing in
Liverpool this weekend for help in tracing a man wanted in
connection with an assault on a student.
Officers want to speak to a man who was seen by several witnesses
punching the 25 year old student in the face following an
altercation between two groups of people in St Peter's Square in the
Ropewalks area of the city at around 3am last Sunday, 22 September
The victim, who is from Ireland, fell to the floor and suffered
serious head injuries after his head hit a black metal bar stool
outside a nearby bar.
Paramedics attended and took the victim, who was unconscious, to the
Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He was later transferred to
Walton Neurological Centre for specialist treatment following a
bleed on the brain, where he is expected to make a full recovery.
Detectives have seized CCTV from several nearby bars and are
appealing for people out in the city centre this weekend to contact
them if they recognise the description of the offender.
He is described as an olive-skinned or tanned man around 5ft 10ins
tall with short, black spikey hair. He was wearing a black jacket
with distinctive red and silver stripes down the arms.
He is believed to have left the scene with a second man following
the assault and headed up Seel Street, past Heebie Jeebies bar.
Detective Constable Neil Hughes from St Anne Street CID, said:- "This was a very nasty assault which left a young man in a
serious condition in hospital. Thankfully he is recovering but it
could have much worse as he hit his head with some force against a
metal bar stool as he fell. We are determined to trace the offender
and are appealing to people out in Liverpool this weekend for help.
St Peters Square was extremely busy last Saturday going into Sunday
morning so many people will have witnessed this assault. I would
appeal for those people to come forward and tell us what they saw.
The man we believe is the offender was wearing a very distinctive
jacket, with red and silver stripes down the arms, and we are also
appealing for anyone who knows him or saw him out that night to get
Call DC Hughes on:- 0151 777 4067 or leave information anonymously
with Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111.
Thai Government learns
lessons from Liverpool
A TOP level
Thai delegation is coming to Liverpool to find out about the city’s
successful work to tackle teenage pregnancy and improve sexual
The 13 strong Government team will hold discussions and receive
presentations on Liverpool’s sexual health strategy and the work to
support young people in the city.
Teenage pregnancy is a major issue in Thailand, with around 100,000
babies born to teenage mothers every year. The Thai Government has
made it a priority to tackle the issue, but has not yet put a
national strategy in place. They chose to learn lessons from
Liverpool after identifying the city as an area of good practice.
The delegation, from Thailand’s Department of Social Development and
Welfare, is led by Ms. Phanida Kamphu Na Ayuthaya, Permanent
Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.
They will be meeting with city council and Liverpool Primary Care
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s
Services, Councillor Jane Corbett, said:- “We’re delighted to
be welcoming this delegation. To be chosen by the Thai Government
for such a high-profile visit is testament to the good work we are
doing to improve sexual health, support young parents and tackle
teenage pregnancy. Teenage parents face many unique challenges and
it’s vital we support them at every step of the way. We are looking
forward to sharing with the delegation the many things we are doing
to assist young parents with nurturing their babies, helping them
return to education or training, giving them access to health
services and providing on-going support in their day-to-day lives.”
During their visit, the delegation will meet council and health
staff as well as staff from partner agencies including Brook and
Connexions. They will find out about the services available for
teenage parents at the city’s 26 Sure Start Children’s Centres,
including childcare, drop-in groups and outreach support, which sees
staff visiting young people in their homes.
They will also learn about ‘Hit the Ground Crawling’,
an innovative project run by young Liverpool dads, which provides
advice and support for young dads to-be. And they will find out
about ‘So To Speak’, a sexual health information and
education outreach service for young people aged 13 to 20, in
particular those at risk of social exclusion.
Following their visit to Kensington Children’s Centre, the
delegation will visit the Brook centre on London Road, which
provides free and confidential sexual health services and advice for
young people under 25.
Dr Paula Grey, Director of Public Health for Liverpool, said:-
“We are honoured to be welcoming this delegation and that the Thai
Government has selected Liverpool for their visit. There is a lot of
work being undertaken to improve sexual health, tackle teenage
pregnancy and support young parents to ensure they fulfil their
potential. We take a multi-agency approach and work with young
people across the city to listen to what they really want and need,
which is a key part of the success of what we are doing.”
WITNESS APPEAL - RTC
- QUEENS DRIVE, WALTON
Police are appealing for information following a multiple vehicle
RTC at the junction of Queens Drive and Haggerston Road on Tuesday,
21 September 2010. Eleven vehicles were damaged and eight people
sustained minor injuries in the incident, which happened at around
5.30pm when a stolen Mitsubishi Shogun hit a number of cars as it
forced its way along a the line of rush hour traffic. The black
Shogun had been travelling along Queens Drive from Rice Lane towards
Walton Hall Avenue. It turned left into Haggerston Road where it
stopped as its front wheel was hanging off. The Shogun was abandoned
and the male driver ran off. None of those involved in the incident
needed paramedic attention. Four vehicles were removed from the
scene as they were too badly damaged to be driven. Road Collision
Investigators have attended the scene and carried out an
examination. Anyone with any information is asked to call Merseyside
Police on:- 0151 777 5771, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800
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