Local Authorities

Centurion has longstanding clients in the local authority sector and has been very active in supporting an increasing number of councils as they devolve the delivery of services such as leisure and cultural away from the council itself.

Our Engagement with Local Authorities

Our support to local authorities has been a key area of growth for Centurion in recent years. We have, since 1998, looked after a number of councils but as our reputation for delivering high quality VAT expertise in a friendly and efficient way has grown so has our local authority base.

Sector VAT Issues

Local authorities remain complex organisations from the VAT perspective due to the special VAT regime within which they operate under Section 33, VATA 94. The sector faces continuing pressures as economic strategies across the UK look toward Regional Approaches and “Powerhouses” alongside city regeneration projects and Business Improvement District initiatives. Mergers remain on the agenda in parts of the UK and Centurion has been heavily engaged in supporting both councils and the new charitable trust bodies taking over the delivery of leisure and cultural services in the community.

How Centurion help

With joined up communication key in a large organisation we ensure that through our VAT Management Program meetings a member of the Estates Team attends to identify projects within the capital plans where VAT issues need to be addressed in advance of any contractual undertakings. This approach has produced real compliance benefits from the early identification of VAT issues.

The increasing collaboration across authorities and with bodies such as charities and housing associations, particularly on social care provision, is often an area where Centurion assist.

The local authority sector has developed quite a sophisticated VAT awareness over the years particularly through the engagement of CIPFA and direct communication from the CIPFA VAT Committee with HMRC. Centurion’s VAT support role has expanded as the sector increasingly recognises the financial costs which can arise from poor compliance and HMRC show no “light touch” in their application of penalties to a public sector body. 


Centurion VAT is an accredited NEPRO supplier and as such any member or associate member of the North East Procurement Organisation has the option to request a quotation or call off our services via NEPRO against the following categories:

  •  Finance Audit & Accounting - Taxation

Meet the team

Within the five strong VAT team our local authority specialists are:

Louise Gray
Louise Gray


Email Louise
Liz Maher
Liz Maher


Email Liz
David Bartlett
David Bartlett


Email David

Centurion has looked after local authorities for many years but Liz and Louise's knowledge of the sector goes back through their long careers in VAT across the UK.

Providing VAT support for Centurion is about knowledge transfer as well as helping resolve technical issues for our clients when concerns do arise.

Therefore the team is proud of their long association with the local authority sector and their finance teams and particularly the way in which the VAT awareness of our client council teams has grown over the years of Centurion's involvement.

Get in Touch

Our Local Authorities Clients

Case study

Sporting Services and Sports Trusts/Charities

With the recent move from local authority to trust control for the provision of leisure and cultural services Centurion has been closely involved in the business planning for a number of councils. There are a range of VAT compliance aspects to address within these types of arrangements especially as sizeable land assets - leisure centres, sports facilities may be disposed of or leased to the new trust body.

With our expertise across local authorities and charities we have been well placed to work, to best VAT effect, for both sides of the transaction in terms of ensuring a smooth process of transfer and supporting a sustainable model for the new entity without exposing the council to risk.