News

07.07.17

Calls for Javid to sort out ‘shambolic delay’ of business rates relief fund

Small businesses have demanded that the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, should push councils to get on with distributing the £300m business rates relief fund that has seen a “shambolic delay”.

The cash was made available in the Budget in March, but the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that many local authorities have yet to draw up plans and started the job of giving cash to businesses.

And now the FSB has penned a letter to Javid to try and prompt him to “get a grip on the situation” and make sure councils start distributing the relief immediately.

This should come in the form of a ‘letter of direction’ the FSB say, which would tell councils to urgently implement a strategy to hand out business rates relief in their area.

More than half a million firms will see a rise in their bills, and in the south east 39% of small businesses expect their bills to increase. In this area of England, more than £40m from the fund is expected to be made available, including £900,000 in Medway, £600,000 in Tonbridge & Malling and £450,000 in Tunbridge Wells.

“Small businesses across the country are still waiting for the promised £300m hardship fund to materialise,” said Martin McTague, FSB policy director.

“Local authorities have known their allocation since April, yet it’s likely most will not have schemes in place until August or September at the earliest,” he continued. “This shambolic delay means some small businesses are being left with no choice but to delay investment, avoid taking on staff or even close their doors, while they are waiting for this assistance.”

McTague added that Whitehall needed to “take control of the situation” and instruct local councils to get on with the job so that the relief can reach struggling businesses most in need.

Alison Parmar, FSB Kent development manager, said: “I have had numerous calls from businesses –from yoga firms to community-run pubs – who are worried about their dramatic rates increase.

“Many have had to accommodate rises of between 10% to 50% on their business rates with little warning. We need to support these firms,” she concluded. “The discretionary rates relief is one way we can make sure our independent companies continue and offer us choice and diversity in our towns.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

Crown Commercial Service: Travel solutions on track

10/09/2018Crown Commercial Service: Travel solutions on track

Katrina Williams, head of travel at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), exp... more >
LEPs need to do more for England's countryside

10/09/2018LEPs need to do more for England's countryside

Paul Miner, head of strategic plans and devolution at the Campaign to Prote... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

interviews

Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 20... more >

the raven's daily blog

Social value: what is it and why?

14/09/2018Social value: what is it and why?

Ben Carpenter, chief executive of Social Value UK, discusses the worth of social value, and argues that, before we start measuring social value, we should ask clearly: what is... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar

back

September 2018

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

featured articles

View all News