Business Rates Datasets

We regularly receive Freedom of Information requests throughout the year regarding business rates. As most of these requests are for similar information we will usually publish data sets regarding commercial properties including new businesses paying business rates.

Due to a number of fraudulent business grant applications emerging nationally, we have removed all datasets relating to business rates due to the risk of the information being used to commit fraud.  Protecting the public purse must take priority and we do not intend to publish this information until at least April 2021 or when the business grants schemes close.  This is to ensure the risk of fraudulent applications is significantly reduced. 

We are also refusing all Freedom of Information requests relating to business rate grants under the Freedom of Information Act exemption 31(1)(a). 

Exemption 31(1)(a) is used when it is deemed that the need to prevent crime is greater than the public interest in accountability. 

Continuing to publish the full business rates list at this time, increases the risk of the information being used by fraudsters and attempting to obtain public funds by deception.  All fraudulent applications and scams are being reported to the relevant bodies.

By applying this exemption to the business rates data, we can ensure that we continue to protect public funds and only pay grants to those who are genuinely entitled to help.

 

Accounts with Credits/Write on

Credit bill notices have been sent to all ratepayers with a credit on their account.  Following the Information Commissioner's Office decision notice in February 2017,  we will no longer publish Business Rates credits and will exempt these requests under section 31(1)(a) of FOIA.

 

Restrictions on the information

  • Personal information - In accordance with section 40(2) of the Act, where the ‘liable party name’ is that of an individual rather than a company, the information will be removed.
  • Information already in the public domain and information intended for future publication - In accordance with section 21 and 22 of the Act, we will not provide individual responses to requests during the year for similar information but we will re-direct requests to our published list of reports held on this webpage which will be updated on a quarterly basis.
  • We will not include email addresses or telephone numbers and will rely upon the exemption provided by Section 21 of the FOI Act as such information is reasonably available by another means for exemption through internet searches of companies house records, websites for the business concerned or by contacting the business by telephone using public telephone records.
  • The ratepayer is the person liable to pay the charge.  In many cases this is a leaseholder and not the owner of the property.  It is not possible to identify the owners from our records. You can find out who owns the property from http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/
  • The property reference is the number used by the Valuation office Agency.  You can find out more information about the valuation of a property, including previous rateable values using the property reference number on the  http://www.voa.gov.uk/
  • The information is a snapshot taken on the day we created the report.   We cannot guarantee the ongoing accuracy of the data as accounts are updated daily.

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