NALC urges government to get toilets bill over the finish line
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) is urging the government to push the Non-Domestic Rates (Public Lavatories) Bill 2021-22 over the finish line and finally deliver on its 2018 budget pledge.
The bill has its long-awaited second reading in the House of Lords on 18 January after being resurrected last year by the government following pressure from NALC and the All-party parliamentary group on local democracy. Once royal assent for the bill is received, it will finally end the “toilet tax” – business rates local (parish and town) councils have to pay on public conveniences they own or manage – and result in a backdated rebate of these rates since 1 April 2020.
This bill is the latest in a long line of government bills since 2016 which have not completed their journey through parliament. NALC has welcomed this next stage of the Bill but is now pressing the government to prioritise this bill for its remaining stages and finally get it through parliament, after a campaign lasting well over five years.
In a briefing to Peers in advance of next week’s debate, NALC has also warned that local councils continue to face financial pressures as a result of COVID funding from the government not reaching local councils. Among the measures, NALC continues to lobby the government on are access for local councils to apply in their own right to central government funding sources, and long term exemption from referendum principles.