Basildon Council supports new government plans to allow council’s to keep the business rates they collect rather than having them paid back into a central pot and redistributed.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, announced the plan at the Local Government Association (LGA) conference last week, which Councillor Tony Ball, Leader of Basildon Council, and Bala Mahendran, Chief Executive of Basildon Council, attended.
The Council has previously lobbied government and supported proposals to decentralise the business rates and let local authorities retain locally raised business rates.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Councillor Tony Ball, Leader of Basildon Council"]I wrote to the Government earlier this year to fight for Basildon’s rights to keep the revenue raised through business rates in the borough. Basildon Council has invested heavily in supporting local business, as a result the economy is more vibrant than other areas and regeneration projects continue to progress. Is it fair that Basildon contributes so much to the central pot, yet only receives a proportion of it back? I am sure local businesses and residents would much prefer to see these funds invested locally.[/quote]
The 12 non-unitary borough and district councils in Essex raise £450m a year in business rates with 17% (£76m) of this coming from Basildon alone. The Government returns only £350m, while the left over £100m is redistributed elsewhere in the country.
Most of the money returned goes to Essex County Council, Essex Police and Essex Fire and Rescue but Basildon Council only receives £9m – a thin slice of the money it has raised.