Council lobbying Government

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Cheshire East Council is lobbying the Government for a fairer slice of Business Rates.

At the moment, the authority receives in the Formula Grant only 44 per cent of the rates it collects. The remainder remains with the Government.

Cabinet member with responsibility for resources Councillor Michael Jones said: "Cheshire East is fortunate in that it has, compared with many areas, a strong business community. As a result, the total amount of business rates we collect, on behalf on the Government, is very high.

"Unfortunately, the current method of calculating what authorities should keep means that Cheshire East receives only 44 per cent — one of the lowest proportions in the whole of the country. The remainder is used by the Government, among other things, to bolster authorities with less-thriving business communities."

New methods of calculation around how much money a council can keep are not set to help either. The Government wants to see local authorities have greater control over their money, enabling them to plan better for the future. It also wants to see a stronger link between councils and their local businesses to create conditions that generate growth.

Councillor Jones continued: "The amount of Business Rates collected by Cheshire East Council is sufficient to fund Formula Grant for the Council, Cheshire Police Authority and Cheshire Fire Authority as well as all Department of Work and Pensions and Department for Education grants to the Council. And this is still likely to leave a surplus in the region of £9m.

"Unfortunately, unless something is done, the money will continue to go to those authorities who are seen as needing it and the money will continue to come from authorities like Cheshire East."

 

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