Background
Background

Issue details

Receipt and spend of grant for business support - Omicron Hospitality & Leisure Grant

Background:
1. In response to the Omicron variant, Government announced the introduction of grant support for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses.

2. This support will take the form of a one-off grant funding scheme to businesses on the local rating list.

3. Grants of up to £6,000 will be paid to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses.

4. Businesses will be paid as follows:
Rateable Value Grant Amount
Rateable Value of £15,000 or under £2,667
Rateable Value of £15,001 to £50,099 £4,000
Rateable Value of £51,000 or greater £6,000

5. Copeland will launch the new scheme in January 2022.

6. On 4 March 2021 new subsidy allowances were established for the COVID-19 business grant schemes. This scheme is covered by three subsidy allowances:
? Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance £335,000 threshold
? COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance £1,900,000
? COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance £10,000,000

7. Copeland Borough Council will maintain a record of grant expenditure under this scheme.

Delegated Power Being Exercised:
(a) The receiving and distributing of a section 31 grant for £1,650,168 under the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme. The budget is set to increase by that sum; and

(b) The decision to distribute the above grants to all qualifying businesses in accordance with the attached policy document.

Receipt of external grant funding is dealt with by Financial Regulations. The receipt of grants over £500,000 is a matter for full Council. The Regulations add that ‘urgent action rules will apply on those occasions when quick decisions are required that do not tie in with scheduled meeting dates’.

In this case decisions (a) and (b) are permitted by paragraph 4 of the Budget and Policy Framework Rules contained within chapter 7 of the Constitution which allows the Chief Executive or the Executive to make a decision not in accordance with approved budget where it is not practical to convene a quorate meeting of Council and the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee agrees that the matter is urgent.

Decision on urgency:
This matter cannot wait for the internal decision making process as the immediate Council meeting fixed for the 13th January 2022 is an extraordinary general meeting pursuant to members’ requisitions and by Council Procedure Rule 3.1(c) ‘No business shall be placed on the agenda for an Extraordinary Meeting held in pursuance of a requisition for such meeting other than that specified in the requisition’. The next meeting of Council is fixed for the 8th February 2022.

Most people are affected by Covid-19 one way or another and many are suffering financial strain as a result of it. Any support to be offered needs to be provided quickly. The Guidance issued to local authorities is available via this link -

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant: guidance for Local Authorities (publishing.service.gov.uk)

The decision is of two parts – to amend the budget to record receipt of the grants and to distribute the grant in accordance with Government guidance.

In view of the above I agree that the decision is urgent.

Authorised by email dated 12th January 2022 from Councillor John Kane, Chair, Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Others Consulted:
Section 151 Officer: Agreed by email dated 13th January 2022.
Monitoring Officer: Agreed by email dated 13th January 2022.

Mayor's approval:
I agree with the amendment to the Council’s budget to receive the grant of £1,650,168 for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme and to the distribution of that grant as advised by Government.

Authorised by email dated 12th January 2022 from Mike Starkie, Elected Mayor.

Reasons for Decision:
It is necessary to deliver the Government’s response to Covid-19 in relation to business support.

Background Report:
COVID-19 Business Support Grant Funding Schemes– Local Authority Guidance – Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure > £50,000;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 13/01/2022

Decision due: 13 Jan 2022 by Chief Executive

Contact: Pat Graham, Chief Executive Email: pat.graham@copeland.gov.uk.

Decisions

 

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