Association meeting, 19 May 2014: Rates Retention – The Early Lessons

24/04/2014 / 1311

The West Midlands Association’s first event of 2014/15 took place at the offices of BNP Paribas at Colmore Row in Birmingham on 19 May, when Simon Horsington spoke to us on the subject of rates retention and lessons learned from the first year.

In the first half he set the scene, describing the combined effect of the new funding arrangements and welfare reform as the “biggest changes for revenues and benefits in 30 years” – a statement few would disagree with! He also referred to the need for authorities to ensure they take into account the need to satisfy the Equality Act and Best Value when making changes to the way they operate. In the second half, he went into the practical steps authorities need to take to ensure they maximise their rate income, including ensuring staff have the necessary skills and all rateable properties are identified and notified to the VOA. We were particularly impressed with his understanding of the numbering system used by one company for its advertising rights on bus shelters - he may not keep the individual numbers in a notebook in his anorak pocket, but he clearly knows his stuff! After the meeting some of us were seeing advertising rights, ATMs and radio masts everywhere, and one of us now looks out from the top deck of the 33 bus every morning for anything that might have been missed!

Events coming up in the West Midlands

Association meeting, 19 May 2014: Rates Retention – The Early Lessons

The West Midlands Association is hosting an event on 19 May 2014 at 3 p.m. at BNP Paribas Real Estate’s offices at 9 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2BJ - another session not to be missed!

Simon Horsington will be presenting the seminar.  He has worked extensively with a series of London Borough, District Councils and larger Unitary Councils as Authorities rise to the challenges of the Localism agenda. Clients include the Welsh Unitary Councils; The London Boroughs of Havering, Harrow and Tower Hamlets; and Leicester City Council.

Simon is a qualified Revenues and Benefits specialist, and has worked running specialist local government consulting operations for the last twelve years.

He qualified for an MBA through the Henley Business School in 2002, and is a long standing tutor for the IRRV, teaching at London and at the Institute’s residential revision course in the final year Management examinations.


The programme is designed to enable delegates to get up-to-date with the current position, as we begin the second year of Rates Retention. Click here for full details of the programme.

To reserve your place, please email us at


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