Brighton and Hove charities warned they could lose business rate relief

Posted On 29 Apr 2010 at 1:59 pm

Charities have been warned their discount on business rates is under review by Brighton and Hove City Council, Third Sector reports.

The council has written to the city’s charities telling them their current rate of discretionary rate relief will end on March 31, 2011 – and that a review of rates is to take place.

Last year, it saved 147 charities a total of £184,000. Colin Chalmers, director of Community Base in Queen’s Road, said his charity could end up £20,000 out of pocket.

He told Third Sector: “The council has said this review is not a formality and it can’t guarantee our relief,” he said. “We feel that there is a very unsupportive attitude towards the sector.”

He has already had first hand experience of this, when the council refused to renew planning permission for a billboard on the building, which houses charities and other voluntary bodies.

The decision was taken by the Tory-dominated planning committee after discussion of a Green Party poster displayed there. Mr Chalmers says this has also cost the venue £20,000 a year.

However, a council spokesman told Third Sector that individual reviews are a “standard feature” of the rate relief system.

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