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Monday, 25 January 2016

National Non Domestic Rate Relief

Cllr Roxanne Mashari has tweeted that the Friends of Preston Library have been awarded National Non Domestic Rate (NNDR) relief, presumably at the last Brent Council Cabinet meeting.  Traditionally, Brent has shyed away from this kind of award, other than when promoting the London Living Wage.

The main reason for this is that if you start giving one organisation a discount, where do you stop?  The report gives general issues to consider when making a decision, but not the reasons in this particular case.  Indeed, in tweeting about one particular organisation's tax affairs I suspect Cllr Mashari has broken her duty of confidentiality.  In this case I think that is beneficial since transparency is very important when favours are being handed out.  there really should be a public explanation as to precisely why this organisation is considered deserving when most others are not. 

The relief appears only to be granted for the period that the Friends were actually occupying the building.  I have suggested before that a longer term arrangment would lead to a number of problems.  These become worse if the building is considered an asset of community value.  Given the circumstances of Cllr Mashari's "offer" to the Group just before the 2014 elections, I would have thought a clear public explanation essential. 

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