24th March 2021
- The Regulations setting out amongst other things when FECs, AGCs and pubs can open under what conditions has been published. Despite last week escalating our concerns over the discriminatory treatment of AGCs vis a vis non-essential retail, AGCs remain slated to open on May 17th alongside FECs, entertainment and hospitality. Pubs will from that date be allowed to have customers indoors. The full Regs can be accessed here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/364/made
- Our second petition has today been launched on the Government’s petition website demanding that AGCs be allowed to open on April 12th with other non-essential retail. As with our VAT petition please get everyone you know to sign it and in turn get them to get everyone they know to do the same. Please use social media to promote it. The petition can be signed here. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/579051
Scotland – disappointingly, despite numerous requests and promises, we have still not been able to engage with officials over our request for a specific support fund for suppliers in Scotland. I have today written forcibly to Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing, stating that this is unacceptable. Suppliers, not just in Scotland, have been hammered by all Governments’ restrictions and there has been little recognition of the fact.
As mentioned, don’t forget to sign and get everyone else to sign our petition calling on the 5% tourism rate of VAT to apply to seaside arcades. Click here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/578861. We have over 400 signatures since Friday.
- If any member is making use of Partial Exemption for VAT purposes, the Government has amended the rules to make it easier to amend the calculation you employ for PE due to Coronavirus’ impacts. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenue-and-customs-brief-4-2021-partially-exempt-vat-registered-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=bad22444-2940-4e53-9720-3bcaea7255c1&utm_content=immediately
- A number of members have asked if they can put machines outside of their seaside arcades when attractions are open, even when FECs are still required to be closed. This came up last Summer. Whilst any curtilage outside of a venue will still be classed as part of the FEC and therefore required to close, given the risk of covid transmission outside is much reduced and if regular cleaning regimes are in place, there is a good argument that there is little risk from doing so. However, given this would technically be illegal, it is suggested members ask for permission from their local council to put any machines outside the venue and under what conditions this would be acceptable. A number of Councils were amenable to this last Summer so it’s worth asking. It is suggested you get this in writing in case the police take a different view.
EAG Online – Given we have been unable to get together for a physical event this year, EAG is hosting a virtual event. If you want to join the growing list of exhibitors (and it is free to bacta members) then contact Karen Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org). Registrations are now also open for visitors. Please click here to get your ticket https://eagexpo.com
Miles for Smiles – Finally, don’t forget to support the nearly 200 incredible bacta smilers. We are a week away from completing the two month marathon of swimming, cycling, walking or whatever to clock up sponsored smile miles for the Bacta Charitable Trust. We have been promised another fantastic £500 each from James Miller and Tim Batstone if we can get over the 50k smile mile mark, but any amount you can spare will spur the smilers on to the end of the month. Please donate at our just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bactamilesforsmiles. A massive thank you to everyone has done so already…..and if you haven’t seen Tony Glanville and Mumma G in their amazing fundraising videos then check out the bacta Facebook page. It is guaranteed to brighten your day.