Devil is in the detail

Some surprising variations in Rateable Values have emerged from new list

11 October 2016

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The draft 2017 Rating List was published on 30th September. The VOA provided a detailed breakdown by region and sector for properties in England. However, Welsh changes were released with an analysis of changes by property sector only. Cooke & Arkwright has now produced a breakdown of the movements in RV for each of the 22 Unitary Authorities in Wales. This has revealed a wide variation between authorities, with for example, an 11% decline in Neath Port Talbot against a 9% increase in Conwy. Within each Unitary Authority the distribution of winners and losers is even more pronounced.

A public house in Conwy has seen its RV rise by 406%, while the RV of a large shop in Llandudno has fallen by 48%. In Port Talbot, the RV for a food stall has risen by 225% and a shop in Neath has seen its RV fall by 54%.

While Cardiff shows a decrease of -3.48% and Newport -7.51%, the increase in overall RVs within some of the rural authorities in mid and north Wales especially Gwynydd, Conwy, Cerdigion and Powys, is, perhaps counter-intuitive. The declines in RV in the industrial heartlands of Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr and Blaenau Gwent are unsurprising. 

Cooke & Arkwright have been providing rating valuation advice to The Welsh Rugby Union Limited (“WRU”) and Millennium Stadium plc for many years. They were recently successful in achieving substantial reductions in the assessments of the Millennium Stadium, covering both the 2005 and 2010 rating list. These negotiated reductions yielded savings of c.£3.5m which, crucially, allows the WRU to re-invest in rugby throughout Wales. They advise the WRU across the group portfolio including the National Centre of Excellence in the Vale of Glamorgan. The valuation issues across the WRU portfolio are complex requiring a high level of understanding of the funding and finances of professional sport in Wales. Cooke & Arkwright’s experience and understanding of these issues and application to the rating valuation have yielded these substantial negotiated reductions. The WRU and the Millennium Stadium entrust our work to organisations with the required levels in experience and expertise in dealing with these complex issues. I am glad to say we have this expertise in Wales. I would have no hesitation in recommending ratepayers making use of this Welsh based expertise.

Steve Phillips, Group Finance Director, Welsh Rugby Union Group