John, we spoke some while ago regarding rates charged by the Local Authority for CIC's and it was at the discretion of each Local Authority as to whether or not Rates were charged. We are based in Plymouth and use a small amount of a building owned by Plymouth LA. We have occupied it for three years now and they are just about to come and measure the square footage we use and charge us a ratable value. This could put us out of business. Given that our business is childcare and we work with the LA school also on site to ensure their numbers are full each year and we feed their schools, I feel this is highly unfair. Have you any suggestions? Thanks
1. Contact your local councillor and request an emergency meeting. This is an emergency if your provision is at risk due to LA actions, your councillor will not want to lose services to vulnerable children in their ward.
What relief have they granted these past 3 years?
Why are they coming to measure up now, have they confirmed they will definitely start charging you?
Has your benefit to the community reduced?
There is a need for LA's to try and maximise all revenue streams, especially in the light of severe cuts they are having to manage. That is reasonable, that it will result in even larger losses to local services is not, your work with vulnerable children has already been recognised with this relief so what has changed?
It is different in every LA, but prepare for a battle, be it with charm or local PR campaign.
Hi - there is an excellent Social Enterprise Network in Plymouth. If you haven't already spoken to them then suggest you contact Gareth Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org