Hinkley B rates deal could help council

By in Business

HINKLEY Point B power station has finally brokered a deal with the Government’s Rates Valuation Office which will cut its rates valuation by almost £9 million.

And that could be good news for cash-strapped West Somerset Council, according to its leader Cllr Anthony Trollope-Bellew.

He said the rates revaluation could mean that money scheduled to be set aside next year by the council in case EDF Energy appealed against the decision, could drop from £800,000 to £130,000.

He told a town meeting in Minehead on Tuesday: “Thankfully, a deal has been done between Hinkley Point B and the rates valuation office which has cut the power station’s rates valuation from £29.4 million to £20.7 million.”

The station’s rateable value had recently soared to nearly £30 million from its previous £8 million. It currently provides 46 per cent of West Somerset Council’s business rates.

Cllr Trollope-Bellew said that the council had to set aside money to repay rates revenue if EDF made a successful appeal, but this was thought to be unlikely now a deal had been agreed.

A council spokesman confirmed: “Changes to the valuation means that West Somerset Council is likely to benefit financially and can plan its future finances with greater confidence.

“The council is now working on what the revised valuations will mean in real terms for its own share of business rates funding now and in the medium term.”

Turning to Hinkley C, Cllr Trollope-Bellew said: “This has been portrayed as a real money-spinner for West Somerset but it might not be.

“The down-side is that it is possible that their rates could go on what is called the National List to be distributed across the country.

“In that case, we won’t get any more money than anyone else.”

An EDF spokesman told the Free Press:

“Over the last six to nine months EDF Energy has fully engaged in discussions with the Vauation Office Agency and have now agreed the compiled list rateble value for Hinkley Point B for the 2017 rating list.

“ThE uniform business rate and the rules around local authprity business rate retention are set by central government.”