1.1 The Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool.
2.1 City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Calderdale Council, Harrogate
Borough Council, Kirklees Council, Leeds City Council, Wakefield Council and City of
3.1 This governance agreement comes into force on 1st April 2018 and will continue
until the Pool is dissolved, either by Government or because any one of the
members formally leaves the Pool (see “Dissolving the Pool”, below).
4. Rationale and Objectives
4.1 The LCR Pool exists to benefit the individual members and to further the aims of
the Leeds City Region as a whole. The Pool has two key objectives:
- To support regional economic growth by providing support to and working in
collaboration with regional partners;
- To support the financial stability of the member authorities, both at an
individual and a regional level.
4.2 The Pool will receive 50% of business rates income collected above the 100%
business rates baseline income generated by the member authorities, the share
which would previously have been paid to Central Government.
4.3 This Pool income will be shared out so that member authorities receive 50% of the
additional income generated through 100% business rate retention, 25% in
proportion to growth achieved and 25% in proportion to population, with 50% of
that income being retained by the Pool. The only exceptions to this are set out in
Section 8, below.
4.4 Any variation to the arrangements set out in 4.2 and 4.3, above, will require the
formal agreement of the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool Joint Committee.
5. Leadership and Accountability
5.1 The Pool will be led by a joint committee. The joint committee will comprise of the
leaders of the councils making up the Pool. The joint committee shall be
- allocating any excess income arising from the 50% Pool share as set out in 4.3
- any changes to the purposes for which the income received by the pool
should be used, but the principle that no authority should receive less than
they would if treated individually, shall be maintained;
- agreeing the expenses to be deducted by the lead authority administering the
- considering any applications for other councils to join the Pool;
- any variations to the membership of the joint committee; and
- any other matters relating to the administration and governance of the Pool
including replacement of the lead authority.
5.2 The members of the joint committee will elect a chairperson.
5.3 The joint committee will meet as and when required but no less than twice each
5.4 The quorum for the meetings will be no less than 5 members. Leaders will be able
to nominate substitutes.
5.5 Members will have equal voting rights and voting will be by simple majority. In the
event of a tie, the chair of the meeting will have a casting vote.
5.6 The joint committee will be supported by officers drawn from the lead authority.
5.7 The joint committee may establish any sub-groups or any officer forums that they
believe to be appropriate.
5.8 Minutes of joint committee meetings will be published as required by law.
6. Lead Authority
6.1 The initial lead authority responsible for the administration of the Pool shall be
Leeds City Council.
6.2 The lead authority will normally act as such for a full year and may only be replaced
at the year end. A lead authority wishing to relinquish the role at the year end must
give a minimum of four months’ notice.
6.3 Each member of the Pool will be jointly and severally liable for any payments
required to the Department for Communities and Local Government but,
notwithstanding that, the lead authority will take responsibility for all matters in
relation to the administration of the Pool including (but not limited to):
- all liaison with DCLG and other government departments including the
completion of all forms and returns associated with the Pool;
- administration of payments to and from the Pool and all calculations
relating to the collection fund for the Pool;
- producing an annual report showing how income has been distributed and
preparing periodic monitoring reports for Pool members;
- calculation of the costs of administering the Pool which are to be deducted
from the rewards of the Pool. If the excess income generated by the Pool
was insufficient to cover the administrative costs of the Pool in any year,
then the shortfall would be shared between the Pool members in
proportion to their spending baselines;
- The lead authority will ensure that the pooling arrangements, annual
reports and other financial information is published and is freely available
on the lead authority’s website or elsewhere as appropriate.
7. Dissolving the Pool
7.1 This Pool may be revoked by Government after one year.
7.2 If any member decides to leave the Pool the regulations require that the Pool will
7.3 Any authority seeking to leave the Pool should inform DCLG and all other members
of the Pool as soon as possible. Once the Pool has been established, this must be by
30th September in any year, to allow the remaining members time to seek
designation of new pool for the following year (see 7.4, below).
7.4 The lead authority will make the necessary calculations and submit the required
returns associated with the dissolving of the Pool.
7.5 The remaining members of the Pool may choose to form a new Pool and, if they wish,
include new members for the following year (subject to new designation by DCLG).
8. Treatment of Potential Losses in Income and Residual Benefits or Liabilities
8.1 The Pool will have a single safety net threshold set at 97% of its baseline funding
level. Authorities not participating in pooling arrangements who suffer reductions
in business rates income exceeding the safety net threshold would be entitled to
safety net payments. If an authority is a member of a business rates pool, the
safety net payment to that individual authority could be lost because the loss
across the pool may not be as much as the 3% required to reach the safety net threshold.
8.2 Authority(s) that would otherwise have qualified for safety net(s) will have their
share of pool proceeds calculated so as to include what they would have received
as a safety net payment.
8.3 There is also a risk that authority(s) participating in the Pool will be worse off as a
result of their participation when compared with what their financial position
would have been under the 50% Business Rate Retention Scheme, including receipt
of Revenue Support Grant and Rural Services Grant.
8.4 Authority(s) that would have been better off under the 50% retention scheme will
have their share of pool proceeds calculated so as to include what they would have
received in a ‘no detriment’ arrangement, i.e. under the 50% retention scheme.
8.5 Loss in income to Pool members in the circumstances set out above will be met
proportionately from the Pool’s 50% share of the additional income generated by
the authorities within the Pool and the member authorities’ 50% share of that
income. If that income is insufficient then the net loss will be shared amongst all
members of the Pool in proportion to their spending baselines for the year to which
the safety net(s) would have applied.
8.6 Should losses incurred by the pool as a whole be sufficient to bring the
Government’s ‘no detriment’ guarantee into effect, any funds received from
Government will be distributed to the member authorities in proportion to the
extent of each authority’s losses when compared with what their financial position
would have been under the 50% Business Rate Retention Scheme.
8.7 Once such losses in income are resolved, any residual benefits or liabilities arising in
regard to the Pool’s 50% share of additional income will be shared amongst all the
members of the Pool in proportion to their 50% share of the additional income
received from the Pool. Any residual benefits or liabilities arising in regard to the
50% share of additional income apportioned to local authorities must be dealt with
by the authorities themselves.