A brave new world?

By Joanna Killian | 07 December 2015

The chancellor’s announcement on business rate reform has been welcomed by many. Some read this as a signal that the Government has trust and confidence in the sector, ending a generation of town hall disempowerment.

It is certainly true that the reform offers a significant opportunity to reap the benefits from local business growth, and many confident, capable and commercial councils will do just that. But others will struggle: some because in areas of low growth they simply won’t be able to generate the economic activity needed to generate and sustain an income stream from business rates sufficient to preserve local services, and others because they are reluctant to inflict the consequences of growth - more houses, more infrastructure, more traffic – on their local areas and recalcitrant communities.

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