Rating team success with Welsh Local Authorities bucks trend

Almost three-quarters of challenges result in a reduction

24 November 2016

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Over one million challenges against the 2010 local non-domestic rating list in England and Wales had been received by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) by 30 September 2016, according to the latest statistical figures released by the agency on 16th November. Of the 1.04 million challenges resolved (around 73%), only 29% (220,000) had resulted in a change to the appellant’s rating list, while 71% (544,000) had been unsuccessful.

In contrast, recent analysis conducted by Cooke & Arkwright’s specialist Business Rate Department revealed a much higher success rate for appeals conducted on behalf of eight Welsh local authorities.  The figures showed that of the total of 2010 list appeals conducted by the team on behalf of these clients, 72.38% had brought about an agreed reduction.

Associate Director, Jane Shankland comments, “Our success rate in representing our Welsh local authority clients is probably unparalleled and completely reverses the trend reported by the VOA, where almost three-quarters of challenges met with no success. We believe this is a reflection of the robust, highly professional and vigorous approach to negotiations adopted by the rating team here at Cooke & Arkwright.”

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