Skip to main content

Meetings

Meeting Details

  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests
  • Visitors

Documents

Agenda

Standard Items
VIRTUAL MEETING - LINK TO VIEW

This meeting will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location following regulations made under Section 78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. This meeting can be viewed by following this link:

LINK HERE

 

1 Apologies for Absence

To note any apologies for absence.

 


1

There were none.

 

2 Urgent Matters

To consider any urgent matters that the Chair has agreed should be considered at the meeting.

 


2

There were none.

 

3 Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest made by members.

 


3

There were none.

 

4 Matters to be Considered in Private

To determine whether items contain information that is exempt from disclosure by virtue of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.



4

There were none.

 

5 Minutes

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2020.

 

 

5

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2020 were agreed as a true and accurate record of proceedings.

 

This report invites Ealing Business Partnership to express views on the Council’s Budget for 2021/22.

 

   * The main Appendix containing the substantive report details will be published following publication of the Cabinet Agenda.

 

 

6

Councillor Mahfouz, Cabinet Member for Finance and Leisure, outlined the political context of the budget report, highlighting that since 2010 there had been a 64pence cut in every pound that the Council received in Government Funding. The Cabinet Member explained that it was clear from the feedback sessions on the budget that local people wanted the Council to prioritise and protect the most vulnerable and he was delighted to be able to confirm that the Council would be in a position to fulfil that with the budget that was being proposed. The Cabinet Member informed the Panel that the proposed budget would also enable investments in new homes, roads, pavements, recycling and leisure facilities.

 

Councillor Mahfouz drew the Panel’s attention to the Future Ealing Programme which had continued to deliver with an investment led approach and which had achieved significant savings too. Some of the outcomes and transformations included the successful launch of Greener Ealing, the development of community managed Libraries and the delivery of 54% of the Council’s genuinely affordable homes target.

 

Ross Brown, Chief Finance Officer, provided a presentation on key budget proposals that would be considered by Cabinet in February 2021 and Full Council in March 2021. The presentation included information on the following:

 

  • 2020/21 Budget Overview
  • 2020/21 Current Position
  • Main funding sources for the Council
  • 2021/22 Government Funding Settlement
  • Business Rates
  • Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS)
  • 2021/22 Council Tax
  • 2021/22 Budget Overview
  • Risks and Conclusions

 

It was highlighted that the budget would balance for 2021/22 with a recommended 1.99% Council Tax increase and a 3% Social Care precept increase.

 

It was explained that there had been an introduction of Council Tax relief for care leavers which entitled those up to the age of 25 who were classified within the definition of a care leaver to receive a full discount on their Council Tax which was a helpful step in providing essential support. There had also been an introduction of an additional Empty Property Premium of 300% where properties had been empty for over 10 years and which would be used as one of the many tools to increase the amount of properties available in the Borough in order to address housing challenges.

 

It was concluded that the budget was well set in order to continue to deliver vital services for the Borough within the resource constraints, however, current circumstances of Covid-19 would continue to present in-year pressures requiring very careful management of tight budgets. In the longer term the Council would still be faced with a continuing challenge of delivering a balanced budget against a backdrop of Government funding uncertainty and a prolonged period of decline.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That Ealing Business Partnership noted and approved the Budget Report 2021/22.

 

 

7 Business Rates Update 2021

To receive and note an update on Business Rates detailing local and wider national implications and the impacts on the Council's finances. An update on Covid support and grants for businesses will also be provided.

 

7

Councillor Mahfouz, Cabinet Member for Finance and Leisure, provided an introduction to this item and explained that businesses in Ealing were a key part of the Borough’s economy. There were over seventeen thousand businesses in the Ealing Borough with almost eleven thousand that paid Business Rates. The Cabinet Member discussed the impacts on businesses due to Covid-19 and confirmed that direct business grants of £93.7m had been issued and the Council had received national recognition for distribution of initial grants. The Cabinet Member explained that a further £59m had been awarded in reliefs for retail and nurseries too. There had been ten different government grant schemes and two relief schemes with seventeen periods of grant awards, each with their own qualifying rules and guidance.

 

Nick Rowe, Assistant Director for Local Tax and Accounts Receivable, provided a presentation on Business Rates updates. The presentation provided information on the following:

 

  • 2021 Figures
  • Information about Ealing Business Rates
  • Business Rates Retention
  • Ealing Discount Scheme – London Living Wage
  • Government Announcements
  • Covid Grants and Schemes

 

The Panel were informed that the Business Rate Multiplier, the Small Business Multiplier and the Cross-Rail Supplement had remained the same as 2020/21. There had been no further relief changes announced, however, the retail relief was currently set to be removed.

 

The Panel were further informed that due to Covid-19 the Government had decided to postpone and reschedule the next business rates revaluation from April 2021 to April 2023.

 

It was confirmed that all tier restrictions and national lockdown grants had now been paid apart from Tier 4 from applications previously received. The on-line form would be re-opening on 3 February at midday for two weeks for those who had missed the initial application window for the second and third national lockdown grants.

 

In response to some questions and issues raised Officers confirmed that:

 

  • The business rates base had dropped in terms of rateable value which was predominately due to appeals. The Government had introduced the new appeals process check challenge and appeal which was an incredibly lengthy process in terms of business rates appeals and so business rates income had gone down.

     

  • An additional Covid restriction grant discretionary scheme would be approved by members in the next week with the aim to support businesses who had not received support including events companies and supply chain businesses. In order to qualify the business must have a business related property expenditure, a business property that was leased or a space or location that they were paying rent or a property charge for in the London Borough of Ealing. This will be open for applications by the end of February.

     

  • All of the grants had criteria set by central government and the Council could only pay those businesses who had qualified under the schemes.

 

Businesses were encouraged to sign up to the Council’s Business Support Email in order to be updated with further news and information going forward.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That Ealing Business Partnership noted and approved the Business Rates Update 2021/22.

 

 

To receive and note an update on the Council's Greenprint to Economic Recovery and Renewal and the request for businesses to feedback their comments.

 

 

8

Councillor Dhindsa, Cabinet Member for Business and Community, and Connor McDonagh, Assistant Director of Economic Growth, Regeneration and Planning provided an update on the Council’s draft Greenprint to Economic Recovery and Renewal document.

 

It was explained that, the draft Greenprint to Economic Recovery and Renewal document. had been produced to provide an indication of how the Council wanted to approach economic growth and the main focus and priorities within the short, medium and long term.

 

It was further explained that, the document outlined how economic growth in Ealing could be achieved in a way that was sustainable and where climate action and inclusion and social justice were at the heart of recovery work.

 

The Panel were informed that the Greenprint should be viewed as a simple and deliverable plan that could help underpin a future economic growth strategy. It had focused on four action areas which were ‘Supporting Climate Action’, ‘Supporting Residents’, ‘Supporting Businesses’ and ‘Supporting Neighbourhoods’. Each action area had an overarching Greenprint goal and three objectives for delivery and so in total there were twelve objectives across the four action areas.

 

The Panel were further informed that the Council wanted to ensure local businesses were able to receive the right support and information so that they could respond to challenges, grow and be more resilient. The Council also wanted to ensure that the Borough could attract new growth businesses and businesses that wanted to invest in the Borough which in turn would create wealth and employment opportunities for residents.

 

It was explained that the objectives and goals could only be achieved by working in partnership with stakeholders. In some areas the Council had started to put in place partnership structures to deliver against some of the actions and objectives. A stakeholder group had been set up as ‘Ealing’s High Street Taskforce’ which was one of the objectives of the ‘Supporting Businesses’ action area. The task group had brought together key officers from across multiple council services and teams along with key external partners including the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), trader associations, landlords and operators to develop a high street action plan. This approach to objective setting was critical in order to reinforce the importance of partnership working, internally and externally, and for sharing responsibility and resources for delivery.

 

It was confirmed that the Council were consulting with many businesses and business organisations to obtain their input and welcomed feedback and views. The draft document would be refined following feedback and it was proposed that it would be presented to Cabinet in Summer 2021.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That Ealing Business Partnership noted the draft Greenprint to Economic Recovery and Renewal document.

 

 

pdf Appendix 1 (8888Kb)
9 Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Ealing Business Partnership will be confirmed in due course.

 

 

Paul Najsarek, Chief Executive, 25 January 2021

 


9

The date of the next meeting would be confirmed in due course.

 

The meeting of the panel concluded at 8:30pm

 

Attendance

NameReason for Sending ApologySubstituted By
No apology information has been recorded for the meeting.
NameReason for AbsenceSubstituted By
Councillor Yvonne Johnson  
Councillor Binda Rai  

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting