Category Archives: News/Blog

VAT on community building refurbishments – a ‘tax on voluntary effort’

The National Village Halls Forum says volunteers should not have to fundraise to pay VAT bills on improvement work to charity run community facilities.

Most building work on community halls and centres is liable for VAT at the standard rate of 20%. So a village hall committee raising funds for a £100,000 extension has to find another £20,000 for the VAT bill.

In a new campaign, the National Village Halls Forum is describing this as a ‘tax on voluntary effort’, saying that volunteer committee members should not have to fundraise just to cover the VAT on improvements to charitably-run buildings. Click HERE to view the Forum’s press release

Please use the news release to make your local MP, County Councillor and other politicians aware of this issue, especially if your committee has recently had to pay a significant VAT bill on some building work. Say how much longer the fundraising took, or what other improvements you could have made if the VAT was refunded to your charity.

You could add that reducing the VAT bill would encourage more committees to improve their community building, which then provides jobs to local tradespeople and better facilities for groups, services and businesses. A well-equipped, warm community building can, of course, also play a major part in making a village or town a great place to live.

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Helping communities answer the question ‘which plan should we do?’

60 participants from 31 Oxfordshire communities came to a planning workshop on 15 July at Steventon village hall. The main concern among participants was understanding the difference between Community Led Plans and Neighbourhood Plans, which is the right plan, and how does it all fit in with the pressures of development and the timing of Local Plans.

Every community faces different pressures, but a key conclusion from the workshop was that often a Community Led Plan is a good starting point, providing a vision and identifying the main community concerns across a broad range of issues.

This can provide a strong basis of community engagement and robust evidence for the community to then go on to address spatial development issues through the formal statutory process that is required in a Neighbourhood Plan.

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