Consultation with businesses on our budget proposals 2019/20

17 December 2018

If you’re a business rate payer, or run a business in Waltham Forest, you’re invited to make comments about our budget proposals for business rates. These proposals can be found in our Medium-term Financial Strategy (below).

Your comments will be considered and incorporated into our Budget and Council Tax Setting 2019/20 report, which we’ll publish on 18 February 2019.

Please send your comments to Brian Moldon on 020 8496 4477 or email  by 18 January 2019.

You can also request a meeting or further information.

Our budget proposals

We’ve set out our plans to address the medium term funding deficit in our Medium Term Financial Strategy report. The report was considered by Cabinet on 13 September 2018.

Our Budget and Council Tax Setting 2018/19 details how we're currently achieving the aims of the strategy. 

Since 2011, core government grant funding has been reducing each year. This, combined with unavoidable cost increases due to demographic changes, such as an ageing population, has meant that we have had to cut back on spending by almost £102 million during the period 2010 to 2018, with a further £8 million required in 2019/20. The Spending Review published in November 2016 confirmed that funding reductions will continue beyond 2020.

Prior to 2013/14: Councils handed all the business rates they collected to the government and received a share back as part of an overall government grant.

Since 2013/14: We have retained a proportion of the business rates we collect under the Business Rates Retention Scheme, which has replaced an element of the grant. This means we are able to keep a proportion of any increase in business rates generated in the borough. However, we must directly bear a proportion of the cost of any decrease in the business rates that results, for example, from a revaluation of the rateable value of individual business premises.

In October 2015: The Chancellor announced that by the end of the Parliament (2020), local government will retain the full £26 billion of business rates it collects, including 100 per cent of all business rates’ growth and will be expected to take on additional unfunded responsibilities. The government also announced a Fair Funding review, the scope of which is to re-examine the methodology that underpins the current system of redistribution of resources between local authorities. These two significant changes to the local government finance system will have implications for the council’s finances but it is difficult to quantify at this stage as the changes are still at the developmental stage.

In December 2015: The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government made an offer to councils to take a four-year funding settlement for the period 2016/17 to 2019/20. To accept this offer, an Efficiency Plan had to be prepared and published by 14 October 2016. Our Plan was approved by Cabinet on 12 July 2016 and Government confirmed our multi-year settlement offer on 16 November 2016.

Read our Efficiency Plan 2016-2020.

London Business Rates Pilot Pool 2018/19 and 2019/20

For 2018/19, the Government announced the introduction of the London Business Rates Pilot Pool where the London Boroughs, including Greater London Authority and City of London were allowed to retain 100 per cent of growth achieved in the year.

Since then, the Government has announced that from 2020, the proposed 100 per cent of all business rates growth to remain with councils, will reduce to 75 per cent. In preparation for this, the Government has once again agreed as part of the Finance Settlement for 2019/20 to allow the London Business Rates Pilot Pool to continue in 2019/20, but on the reduced 75 per cent of growth retained, in readiness for 2020.

There are more than 11,000 businesses in the borough. Many of these are very small businesses which we hope will have the opportunity to expand in the future.

Our Economic Growth Strategy (EGS) sets out our ambition for growth to 2020. Its key objective is around business growth and investment. The strategy is to ‘keep, seed and grow businesses in the borough’.

Supporting documents Click to get info

The following documents show how we are building a Council of 2020. 

Creating Futures January 2018

This report sets out the our intention to draw on all the strengths in Waltham Forest to build a positive future for our borough. Our aim is to harness the benefits of global and national trends, build our resilience and ability to mitigate risks, and respond with agility to unexpected opportunities and change. By taking this approach, we will give the best possible chance of achieving the priorities and creating a future where every resident in Waltham Forest enjoys a quality life.

Capital Programme 2018 to 2020

You can find the Capital Programme documents in the Budget and Council Tax setting section at the top of this page.

2018/19 Financial Outturn Forecast Update (month 7 October)

This report provides an update on the revenue and capital financial forecasts for 2018/19 as at month 7, and notes any significant risks that have been identified as having the potential to affect the outturn as currently projected. It also provides an update on the implementation of the current savings programme.  

We can provide further information on our revenue or capital estimates for next year on request.