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Agenda item

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Neale Gibson

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes the importance of Sheffield’s two universities to the city and welcomes all new students arriving in Sheffield in the past month;

 

(b)       further notes a number of national campaigns have been launched against the high level of student rents which risks making the accommodation unaffordable for many students;

 

(c)        believes that many students are charged high rents by multinational student accommodation companies who provide residential units of purpose built student accommodation and supports students in fighting for fair rents, and notes many of these companies have been well documented to make huge profits;

 

(d)       notes that these companies are exempt from paying business rates, which is also taking money away from local councils to fund vital public services and believes, like all businesses, student accommodation companies should be required to pay business rates to contribute to the funding of local services in cities like Sheffield where they make huge profits; and

 

(e)       directs that a copy of this motion is sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Shadow Chancellor for consideration.

Minutes:

 

Student Rents and Multinational Student accommodation Companies

 

 

15.1

It was formally moved by Councillor Neale Gibson, and formally seconded by Councillor Peter Rippon, that this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       notes the importance of Sheffield’s two universities to the city and welcomes all new students arriving in Sheffield in the past month;

 

(b)       further notes a number of national campaigns have been launched against the high level of student rents which risks making the accommodation unaffordable for many students;

 

(c)        believes that many students are charged high rents by multinational student accommodation companies who provide residential units of purpose built student accommodation and supports students in fighting for fair rents, and notes many of these companies have been well documented to make huge profits;

 

(d)       notes that these companies are exempt from paying business rates, which is also taking money away from local councils to fund vital public services and believes, like all businesses, student accommodation companies should be required to pay business rates to contribute to the funding of local services in cities like Sheffield where they make huge profits; and

 

(e)       directs that a copy of this motion is sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Shadow Chancellor for consideration.

 

 

15.2

Whereupon, it was formally moved by Councillor Adam Hanrahan, and formally seconded by Councillor Sue Alston, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of paragraph (d) and the addition of a new paragraph (d) as follows:-

 

 

 

(d)       notes that residential property is not liable for business rates, and recognises that if business rates were levied on student accommodation this would push student rents even higher;

 

 

15.3

On being put to the vote, the amendment was negatived.

 

 

15.4

It was then formally moved by Councillor Magid Magid, and formally seconded by Councillor Alison Teal, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of paragraph (d) and the addition of a new paragraph (d) as follows:-

 

 

 

(d)       notes that these companies do pay business rates on the offices of their businesses, but believes that the system of both non-domestic rates and council tax needs comprehensive reform in favour of a land value tax.

 

 

15.5

On being put to the vote, the amendment was negatived.

 

 

15.6

The original Motion was then put to the vote and carried as follows:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes the importance of Sheffield’s two universities to the city and welcomes all new students arriving in Sheffield in the past month;

 

(b)       further notes a number of national campaigns have been launched against the high level of student rents which risks making the accommodation unaffordable for many students;

 

(c)        believes that many students are charged high rents by multinational student accommodation companies who provide residential units of purpose built student accommodation and supports students in fighting for fair rents, and notes many of these companies have been well documented to make huge profits;

 

(d)       notes that these companies are exempt from paying business rates, which is also taking money away from local councils to fund vital public services and believes, like all businesses, student accommodation companies should be required to pay business rates to contribute to the funding of local services in cities like Sheffield where they make huge profits; and

 

(e)       directs that a copy of this motion is sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Shadow Chancellor for consideration.

 

 

 

15.6.1

(NOTE: 1. Councillors Andy Nash, Bob Pullin, Richard Shaw, Adam Hanrahan, Joe Otten, Colin Ross, Martin Smith, Roger Davison, Shaffaq Mohammed, Paul Scriven, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Ian Auckland, Sue Auckland, Steve Ayris, Gail Smith, David Baker, Penny Baker and Vickie Priestley voted for paragraphs (a) to (c) and (e) and voted against paragraph (d) of the Motion, and asked for this to be recorded;

 

 

 

2. Councillors Magid Magid, Douglas Johnson, Robert Murphy and Alison Teal voted for paragraphs (a) to (c) and (e) and abstained from voting on paragraph (d) of the Motion, and asked for this to be recorded.)