150 York pubs set to get business rates discount

The York Council is planning to reduce the Business Rates burden on 1650 retail outlets and pubs in the City.

It means for smaller businesses, occupying premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000, tax bills could be halved. As well as the basic discount, pubs will get an extra £1000 off their bills if their premises have a Rateable Value of less than £100,000.

The Council says that properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments with a rateable value of less than £51,000 that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues.

A report to a meeting taking place on 9th March lists dozens of examples of the type of business which could benefit

The proposal is likely to be good news for those businesses that publicly criticised the Council for what they claimed was a lack of response to their problems during the recent floods.

It is thought that the move could also encourage new businesses to occupy empty properties in the City.

The report says, “As with the previous schemes businesses often fail to apply so the council will automatically award the discount to all the properties that can be identified as meeting the criteria. It will be the responsibility of the business to complete and return state aid forms or risk the award being rescinded”.

There is no cost to the council in providing either discount which will be fully reimbursed by Central Government through the “rates retention system”. The scheme will apply for 2020/21 only unless the government renews the funding support next year

More restrictions on York City centre pub hours?

It could become more difficult for pubs and clubs in York to extend their opening hours in future.

Crime trends in York alcohol zone - report extract April 2016

Crime trends in York alcohol zone – report extract April 2016

The police have asked the York Council to crack down on premises within the cumulative impact zone (essentially the City centre) which seek longer opening hours.

The move comes against a background of increasing violence and disorder on some City centre streets.

The restrictions would affect any premises wanting to extend their hours to open beyond 11:00pm and also any licences seeking an overall increase in opening hours each day.

A report will be considered by the Council on 25th April. If approved the proposal will be subject to public consultation.

So how many Labour Councillors did it take to change a light bulb?

We asked a couple of weeks ago why it apparently took 2 Labour Councillors to nod through a decision on protecting the Punch Bowl pub in the Groves from predator developers.

Residents wanted the Council to make an Article 4 direction on the Punch Bowl pub in The Groves. This simply means that if a supermarket or other chain targets the building then they are required to go through a full planning application process.

It took 2 Councillors, 2 meetings to agree that this was as sensible safeguard

There remains some doubt about whether the new Cabinet members have actually been properly appointed. There has been no Leader or Urgency meeting convened at which new Cabinet appointments, job titles and responsibilities might have been rubber stamped

Divine intervention or hastily read the background papers?

Divine intervention or hastily read the background papers?

Lib Dems launch ‘Save our Pubs’ Campaign in York

York Liberal Democrats have launched a campaign to save local pubs from the threat of closure.

Turf Tavern

The drive follows research from CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) which shows 26 pubs across the country are closing every week. The Lib Dems say York currently has a thriving pub and beer scene, but it is not immune from economic and policy pressures.

The Lib Dems will move a motion at this week’s full council meeting asking City of York Council to back the campaign. The motion calls on the council to help give pubs better protection under planning legislation and to encourage residents to register their local pub as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ – to ensure they have more chance to buy it if it goes up for sale. The motion also calls on the Chancellor to freeze beer duty in next year’s Budget.