Scientology should not get rate break - Birmingham Councillor (Update)

Discussion in 'Scientology Property Tax' started by Sponge, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Sponge Member

    I see this is in the sunderland thread. I'll shove it in here since it follows on from the main WINRAR.....

    Church of Scientology should not get rate break says Birmingham councillor
    Birmingham Mail (UK) 12th Jan 2011

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  2. TinyDancer Member

    Giving this its own thread as it's major.
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  3. Anonymous Member

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  4. Anonymous Member

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  5. xenubarb Member

    Aww, that is Win on a scale I could get used to!

    This is a significant decision. I do not doubt that, even now, Stain Hill will be scrambling to deploy some shiny, smiley backslapper to get in good with one or more cabinet members. They will whine, wheedle and re-apply until the organisation is so bankrupt it has no one left to handle an appeal.

    Cabinet just pwnd them with "we find your organisation is not worth public support.

    They are correct, but have no idea how right they really are. And, oh dear, they've got that Ideal Org and all. How very unfortunate that they won't be receiving subsidies for that big old expensive pile! One poster mentions the increasing state of deteriorization of the property.

    Was it the Northumbria Ideal Org that went on the market without them ever using it?
    And San Diego, same thing. Up for sale.
    Who's taking bets Birmingham will be next?
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  6. Anonymous Member

    Manchester - no tax relief
    Birmingham - no tax relief

    Hello London.
    • Like Like x 9
  7. jensting Member

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  8. hushpuppy Member

    The tide is turning in Great Britain? !!1!
    Birmingham FTW!
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  9. RolandRB Member

    I'll believe it only when I see an official announcement.
  10. Anonymous Member

    Supporting dox are available via the BCC website: You want the meeting on 06/04/11 at 5:30pm, Cabinet Member for Finance, "Awards of Discretionary Rate Relief for Business Rates Under Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988"
    Documents: Discretionary Relief Decision.pdf contains
    Appendix A (list of organisations not entitled on the basis of available finance) contains
    The meeting outcome is given as "agree recommendations".
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  11. Anonymous Member

    Of course this isn't an announcement, but it's better than a forum post.
  12. veravendetter Member

    Great news! Was a bit gutted after the Sunderland fail, but this compensates.
  13. DeathHamster Member

    Sofa king awesome!
  14. Random guy Member

  15. AnonLover Member

    oh how i love the aroma of cult spring cleaning in the middle of a lovely afternoon.

    priceless warm fuzzies over this news is priceless!
  16. Orson Member

    This is not getting the attention it deserves. Big Win.
  17. Anonymous Member

  18. RolandRB Member

    Looks good but the doubts I have is because this would have hit the news bigtime if true. Also, the clams would not have given up without a struggle as this could have consequences all around the country.
  19. Anonymous Member

    WINfollowing an enquiry from a local resident on this issue, I spoke to Cllr Randall Brew, Cabinet member for Finance. last week for an update on this. He informs me that the Church of Scientology will NOT be given any discretionary business rate relief and will be informed of this in the next three weeks.

    Lets get this in the press - nationally.

    We run this.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Anonymous Member

    it really is a very important issue. if true, it's a symptom of Scientology's slide to oblivion or obscurity.
  21. Anonymous Member

    Got a journalist interested

    Can anyone confirm for me - is this the first council to do this?
    Did Manchester revoke tax relief for the cult? if so when?

    Thank you
  22. Anonymous Member

    Can anyone give me a concise summary of background information for this story? - thank you - journalists interested
  23. Anonymous Member

    It's simple: they had to submit an application, and the decision's been made to refuse it. So any "struggle" is going to start now. However, the organisations whose applications were refused (20 in that category according to the documents) have yet to be officially informed. I'd expect local press to publish something sooner or later but I think all parties concerned may have little to say until the letters have gone out (and maybe putting the info out there prematurely may be a bit of an issue, we'll see).
  24. RolandRB Member

    Yes, I think the premature release of this information might be an issue. It would have been proper to inform them first privately to see if they wanted to make legal representation.
  25. Optimisticate Member

  26. Anonymous Member

    Presumably the minutes of the meeting are there for public scrutiny.

    FOI request anyone? William Thackeray lurking ?
  27. Hombre Moderator Skandinaviska

    I tried but their website is retarded so no success.
  28. Anonymous Member

    It is a webshite, but it'll work if you have javascript enabled. Go to Ensure JavaScript's enabled. Select Executive. Select Cabinet Member for Finance. (Optional) Put in 06/04/2011 in the From: field. Click GO. Click on the meeting of the above date at 5:30pm and the documents are there.
  29. RightOn Member

  30. Anonymous Member

    First council to make a decision (we know about) since Eric Pickles' remarks last year, and first to refuse them discretionary relief after previously allowing it (as far as I can tell from info on WWP, etc. The FoI requests I've seen only went back so far.) Manchester: no, didn't give them any in the first place (caveat as above, Roland's document at is a good reference for this kind of thing). For a summary/background, maybe send the article quoted by OP, note that the decision's been made, and preferably attach the meeting documents on Birmingham City Council's website (or link to the page and provide instructions).
  31. Anonymous Member

    thank you - great
  32. Anonymous Member

    Does this need an info dump thread? councils /tax exemption in UK? Might be good to get all the info and dates in one place for journalists
  33. Sponge Member

    I'm not sure. Isn't the existing situation room ( ) enough? i.e. you have the threads on the locales where you have all the information on foi requests, press, direct communications etc for each specific council area. So rather than search an information dump thread for your locale of interest, you pick your locale thread and you gt all the latests developments in there. I suppose you could have a thread for concrete wins for all areas and/or duplicate the area specific information to the relevant top post of each locale thread.
    Blah blah discuss or just do it.
  34. ScudMuffin Member

    Birmingham is precarious, the CoS don't officially own it afaik and it is owned by a 'holding company'. They do use the building, on weekends and for certain events because of the holding company. Not sure of much beyond that. If the Council charge for back rates then the CoS could be forced to purchase Pitmaston outright in order to give that in lieu of tax, so the funds are still there for rent and utilities and other tax issues and avoid waiting on a sale of the building to raise funds.

    Operation: Pitstop gives info on the Pitmaston Affair
    BrumAnon Forums
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  35. Anonymous Member

    The other thing to consider is that Brumanons are fuckin amazing.
    • Like Like x 2
  36. Anonymous Member

    sigh, this is just wrong: hasn't been owned by a holding company since June 2009, as pointed out more than once in the Pitmaston thread you link to. Back rates is not a possibility.
  37. ScudMuffin Member

    Depends how it's played. With the way the cuts are going and the 'rep' of BCC being bad as it is, it wouldn't surprise me for them to launch legal action saying that the CoS went and swindled the rates out of them.

    Trust me, I'd like BCC to be broken down or reformed just as much as the CoS.

    As for the holding company, as the CoS don't own the building outright, any other owners should be considered a holding company.
  38. Anonymous Member

    Umm, ok.
    1) All previous recipients of discretionary relief had to reapply. They were informed this would be the case in March 2010. Along with 19 other organisations, the CoS' application has been refused on the basis of affordability (i.e. the Council wants to save money and has set a limit on the financial assets of the organisations to which it will grant discretionary relief). They have the right to appeal, same as anyone else. That's it. The same criteria has been applied to all applicants, and there is no process or mechanism to apply "back rates". You might like to actually look at the documentation on the BCC website for the decision, and the Council's discretionary rates relief policy.
    WTF is this supposed to mean?
    2) COSRECI = Church of Scientology UK. COSRECI have owned Pitmaston since June 2009, as pointed out multiple times in the BrumAnon Pitmaston land deals thread. Prior to that, it was owned by Woodview Properties Limited, which (as the recently-published audited accounts for 2008 show) was legally a subsidiary of COSRECI. But either way, they own it outright. COSRECI also owns the Ethel St premises and most of the other properties in the UK too.

  39. Anonymous Member

    Apologies Scud, that was pointlessly raegy. I just don't see the Council taking retrospective legal action, given that they refused the application on budgetary grounds. Also, according to WT's related FoI request, the Council don't hold any documentation relating to the original claim.
  40. Anonymous Member

    The reasons scientology was given rates relief in the first place in Birmingham are thoroughly dubious and no one at the council is leaking any real information on it unfortunately.

    William Thackeray's Freedom of Information requests on the scientology cult are works of literary genius and have been very important in holding councils to account on this.

    He's still requesting information - see all his requests here: thackeray/newest

    further background information on this topic

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