Pubs being failed by local authorities over rates relief, warns industry body

Marston's pubs

The ALMR has warned that not enough is being done by local authorities to ensure that promised rates relief is being distributed to pub owners.

The warning follows the publication of a list of local authorities that have notified the government of their schemes to allocate and distribute business rates reliefs.

While the majority of local authorities have implemented a scheme to distribute rates relief for pubs, the ALMR has voiced concern that information about the schemes is not filtering through to businesses.

ALMR chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “The ALMR has been warning about the lack of relief flowing through for some time. Although most councils have shown some initiative and taken a proactive approach to pubs relief, the anecdotal evidence we have received from businesses shows that very few are actually receiving the promised support.”

The ALMR has found that approximately 100 regions in England home hard-pressed pubs, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cafes that are not receiving the support they deserve from their local authority.

“The government has acknowledged that pubs have been hard hit by recent rates increases and will continue to be put under pressure,” added Nicholls. “But eating and drinking out businesses are shouldering an unfair business rates burden: overpaying by £900m per year. There needs to be a wider acknowledgement that many other businesses, not qualifying for pub-specific relief, are struggling too.

“Local authorities that have implemented pub relief schemes need to be proactive in making pubs aware and discretionary schemes for other businesses need to be implemented now.”

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