Agenda and minutes

Harrow Business Consultative Panel - Monday 23 January 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: The Auditorium - Harrow Council Hub, Kenmore Avenue, Harrow, HA3 8LU. View directions

Contact: Nikoleta Kemp, Senior Democratic and Electoral Services Officer  Tel: 07761 405 898 E-mail:


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Prior to opening the meeting, the Chair welcomed the local business representatives present at the meeting and explained that the Council had a statutory duty to consult the business community before setting the Budget and Council Tax for the forthcoming financial year.


Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

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RESOLVED:  To note that there were no reserve members in attendance.


Appointment of Vice-Chair

To consider the appointment of a Vice-Chair to the Harrow Business Consultative Panel for the 2022/23 Municipal Year.

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RESOLVED:  To note that Councillor Natasha Proctor be appointed Vice-Chair of the Panel for the 2022/23 Municipal Year.


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from all Members present.

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RESOLVED:  To note that the following interest was declared:


Agenda Item 8 – Draft Revenue Budget 2023/24 and Draft Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2023/24 to 2025/26


Councillor Norman Stevenson declared a non-pecuniary interest in the he was a director of a company which employed staff in the London Borough of Harrow.  He remained in the room for the duration of the discussion on this item.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 157 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2022 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

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RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2022 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.


Public Questions

To receive any public questions received.


Questions will be asked in the order in which they were received.  There will be a time limit of 15 minutes for the asking and answering of public questions.


[The deadline for receipt of public questions is 3.00 pm, 19 January 2023.  Questions should be sent to  

No person may submit more than one question].

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RESOLVED:  To note that no public questions were received.



To receive petitions (if any) submitted by members of the public/Councillors.

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RESOLVED:  To note that no petitions were received.



To receive deputations (if any).

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RESOLVED:  To note that no deputations were received.

Resolved Items

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Draft Revenue Budget 2023/24 and draft Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023/24 to 2025/26 pdf icon PDF 234 KB

Report of the Director of Finance and Assurance.

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Members received a report from the Director of Finance which set out the Council’s proposed Draft Revenue Budget for 2023/24 and the draft Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for 2023/24 to 2025/26.  In a presentation to the report, the Director of Finance provided a high-level overview of the budget consultation requirements and the process for setting the draft budget and MTFS.  The following key points were highlighted:

·                 Harrow Council’s financial position remained extremely challenging.

·                 A Council Tax increase of 4.99% for 2023/24 was being proposed.  This was expected to decrease by 1% per annum for 2024/25 and 2025/26 to 3.99% and 2.99% respectively.

·                 Despite significant inflationary pressure, the Council had an obligation to maintain investment in statutory services such as Children’s.

·                 The Council’s budget gap for 2023/24 was estimated at £10.9m.

·                 A number of actions required to achieve a legally balanced 3-year MTFS were being undertaken and would be presented to meetings of Cabinet and Full Council in February.

No questions were raised by Members on the presentation.  However, before moving on with the discussion, the Chair clarified that the increase in Council Tax would be decided at the Full Council meeting on 23 February 2023.

The meeting continued with a presentation from the Divisional Director for Collections and Benefits on the revaluation of commercial property and impact to Harrow Business.  The following key points were highlighted:

·                 Despite significant variations in valuations across London regions and business sectors, the overall Harrow rateable for 2023/24 was 8.3% which was below inflation for the year.

·                 Large package of support was available to business rates payers to support revaluations.  This included a multiplier which was frozen for 2023/24; a transitional relief scheme, which would see most of Harrow’s small and medium businesses having their business rates bills increases capped at between 5 and 15% depending on the size of the rateable value; a retail relief scheme where any in-person business will be able to receive 75% relief from the net rates payable (which will be worth £12m to businesses in Harrow on top of other support packages); supporting small business relief ensuring no eligible small business pays more than £600 in business rates extra compared to the previous year.

·                 Businesses would be able to challenge revaluations if they think their rateable value has unfairly increased by appealing to HMRC’s Valuation Office Agency.  Normal business rates would continue to apply until a decision on the appeal had been made and a new value set.


The Chair thanked officers for their presentation and invited questions from Members and Local Representatives. Following comments and questions from, the Panel was advised that:

·                 Compensation from lost business rates retention revenue was expected to be between £6-8m, as set out in the draft budget report.  Officers offered assurance that Harrow was in a good position with any funds lost from retention of business rates would be regained through Section 31 grants.

·                 Responding to a question on the Council’s energy budget and plans to decarbonise, officers advised that the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.