Cabinet considered the report of the deputy chief executive – partnerships. The report outlined the work undertaken to draft a new memorandum of understanding that would set out how local business rates were spent.
The spending of the retained business rates in the Enterprise Zone area was the responsibility of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. These business rates were spent on infrastructure projects in Oxfordshire but not necessarily in the area from which they originated. The revised memorandum of understanding had resulted from negotiations for a better allocation of the spend, by confirming the prioritisation of projects in the Didcot Growth Accelerator Enterprise Zone (EZ2) or its surrounding area, and on schemes that promoted the council’s corporate objectives.
Cabinet welcomed the council entering into a revised memorandum of understanding on this basis. Cabinet also supported the Vale of White Horse being formally confirmed as the accountable body, as the majority of the enterprise zone was within its district.
(a) that South Oxfordshire District Council should enter into a new memorandum of understanding with the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Vale of White Horse District Council and Oxfordshire County Council, for the retention and distribution of business rates growth income from the Didcot Growth Accelerator Enterprise Zone, agreeing the roles of each party and specifically that Vale of White Horse District Council becomes sole Accountable Body; and
(b) to authorise the deputy chief executive – partnerships, in consultation with the Cabinet member responsible for partnerships, to finalise terms of the new memorandum of understanding, including non-material amendments, and to enter into it.