Started 1 petition
Stop Flintshire Scout Groups paying Business Rates Charges
Flintshire County Council has removed the 20% discretionary funding relief for business rates for all Flintshire Scout Groups. This has left groups with annual rates bills of upwards of £300 per group. Scout groups are not businesses. The Scout Association and Scout groups are registered as charitable organisations and are entirely run by local volunteers who give up their time and put energy into providing the adventure of Scouting to young people across Flintshire. This petition is to express deep concern at Flintshire County Council decision to charge business rates against the Scout groups in Flintshire and to ask them to reconsider that decision. The Scout Association is a not for profit organisation that is a key volunteer organisation providing essential skills and opportunities for the young people of the local area, including very likely someone you know, past, present and future. We have been informed that the decision has been taken due to them withdrawing funding relief for charitable sector organisations from 2017 onwards in order to save the council money. It is a decision taken by Flintshire County Council in 2017 to charge business rates on the Scout groups in Flintshire even though their own publications on the matter state that they would ordinarily not do so as the Scout Groups meet the criteria for 100% discretionary rate relief. Section 47 of the LGFA 1988 permits the billing authority to grant discretionary rate relief. This was amended by the Localism Act 2011 section 69 from 1 April 2012, which removed the previous restrictions of discretionary relief to only apply to charities and other organisations of prescribed types. The billing authority may make a decision to grant relief, if it is satisfied that it would be reasonable to do so, having regard to the interests of the council taxpayers. If you believe that supporting Scouting UK as an organisation is in the interest of council taxpayers and the local community, please support this petition to request that the council reverses its decision to remove the rate relief on the business rates charges against the Scout groups in Flintshire. Scouting in the UK: The Scout Association is a non-profit making body, and; Scout Groups are wholly for charitable, philanthropic and religious purposes, and concerned with education, social welfare, and the development of young people; and the Scout Groups property is used wholly for these purposes by each Scout Group. Furthermore, the Scout Groups always exercise due diligence in ensuring their premises have no negative impact on the local community. The Scout Association and the Scout groups in Flintshire in particular contributes to our local community:- “Scouting is fun with a purpose, directed towards helping boys and girls become happy, healthy, useful citizens. Scouting is all about building confidence and self-esteem, learning important life skills and leadership skills, team building, outdoor adventure, education, and fun! Scouts learn how to make good choices and to take responsibility for their actions so that they are prepared for their adult life as independent people. The mission of Scouting is to contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society. Scouting changes lives by offering 6 to 25-year-olds fun and challenging activities, unique experiences, everyday adventure and the chance to help others so that we make a positive impact in communities. Scouts helps children and young adults reach their full potential. Scouts develop skills including teamwork, time management, leadership, initiative, planning, communication, self-motivation, cultural awareness and commitment. We help young people to get jobs, save lives and even change the world.” If you think that Flintshire County Council should not be taxing a volunteer organisation, the Scout Association at all. If you feel that it is just unacceptable and does not reflect the views of the community. If you feel that it does not reflect well of Flintshire County Council. If you feel that It is not in the best interests of the community and is not what I want your council to do, regardless of the current financial pressure. Please sign the petition. Please help us to get Flintshire County Council to consider reversing the decision to charge business rates against Scouting in Flintshire. Thank you.