The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that public toilets will receive new mandatory business rates relief, following an extensive and prolonged campaign to end the toilet tax by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and Members of Parliament.

Among the range of tax and spending measures announced by Philip Hammond MP in his hour-long speech in the House of Commons, was a commitment to exempt public toilets from paying non-domestic rates whether in public or private ownership. Business rates on public conveniences currently cost local authorities including local (parish and town) councils around £8m.

NALC has worked with the All-Party Parliamentary (APPG) on Local Democracy, co-chaired by Scott Mann MP, on this campaign, which is among a range of policy measures contained in NALC’s Prospectus for Ultra-localism.

Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “This is a fantastic result for local communities and I want to thank Scott Mann MP and the APPG on Local Democracy for their help and support. The toilet tax was an issue I raised directly with the chief secretary to the treasury, Liz Truss MP, when I met her recently about the budget and spending review.

"I’m pleased the government has recognised public toilets have an economic and health benefit and are an important facility in our communities. This measure will save local councils over £2 million which can be re-invested in keeping toilets open, providing other local services and supporting devolution."

Scott Mann MP, co-chair of the APPG on Local Democracy, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with this announcement which will help communities, not just in North Cornwall, but right across the country. Ending this unfair toilet tax is an issue our group has been working with NALC on, and its great the government has listened. I look forward to working with the government to turn today’s welcome announcement into a reality.”

Article taken from the NALC website 29 October 2018