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Tag Archives: business rates

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High street performance and evolution: a brief guide to the evidence

The Future High Streets Forum, a group of stakeholders and experts convened by Government in 2013 to advise on and champion policies to support high streets and town centres, has commissioned an evidence review on the issues affecting high street performance and competitiveness, carried out by the University of Southampton and co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). As part of this a guide to the evidence for policymakers and practitioners has been produced, published in July 2014. This briefing summarises the guide and offers brief commentary on related developments and potential next steps for national town centre policy.

This briefing is relevant to councillors and officers across all areas and all tiers of local government, particularly those involved with planning and economic development.

Mending the Fractured Economy: the final report of the Adonis Review

In 2013, Labour peer and former Minister Lord Adonis launched a wide-ranging review of industrial policy to inform the Labour Party’s manifesto for the 2015 General Election. The final report of the Adonis Review, supported by the Policy Network think tank, was published on 1st July 2014 and included a range of recommendations around innovation and industrial strategy, empowering city and county regions, solving the skills mismatch and supporting growth companies. This briefing provides a summary of the report and its implications for economic policy, localism and the shaping of political narratives ahead of the General Election.

This briefing will be of interest to councillors and officers at all tiers involved with economic development; skills, employment and enterprise; local government finance; local growth and LEPs.

Administration of Business Rates in England discussion paper

On 10 April, the government published a discussion paper “Administration of Business Rates in England”. This briefing describes the current Business Rate system and summarises the issues and questions in the paper. It places these in the context of:
* Business Rates Retention (BRR)
* Autumn Statement 2013
* The recent consultation “Checking and Challenging your Rateable Value”
* Recent work by the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee on the retail sector.
As these issues affect local government funding, it will potentially be of interest to all local authorities, but particularly to billing authorities.

This briefing focuses on the consultation but it also includes a section explaining the current system that may be particularly useful for new councillors elected on 22 May.

We published a briefing this week that also considered business rates: The Retail Sector: an update which readers may wish to read alongside this one.

The 2014 IFS Green Budget

This briefing deals with selected chapters in the latest IFS Green Budget, focusing in particular on the prognosis for the UK economy, the public finances, and incomes growth. Also dealt with are chapters on business rates, housing, and policies to help the low paid. This briefing will be of particular interest to members and officers in all authorities concerned with finance and strategic planning. Despite the improvement in GDP growth, real average earnings are shown to remain broadly flat between 2013-15 and to rise slowly thereafter. However, they do not rise above their 2009-10 position until 2018-19, and then only slightly. Overall, living standards are highly unlikely to recover their pre-crisis levels by 2015–16. Recovery from recession has been slower than in previous economic downturns, and hence the current programme of fiscal contraction is unusually deep and protracted. Of the total planned contraction in spending, nearly half (46 per cent) is planned to have been achieved by the end of 2013–14. A large proportion of the cuts to planned spending is still to come. Only 36 per cent of the cuts to planned spending excluding social security and debt interest payments will be in place by the end of 2013–14, meaning further cuts to departmental budgets.

The vanishing high street: the Grimsey Review

The last three years have seen various strands of work, by Government, local authorities and civil society to draw together policies and measures to help preserve and rejuvenate high streets and town centres, notably activity stemming from Mary Portas’ Government-commissioned review in 2011. In September 2013, former Wickes and Iceland Chief Executive Bill Grimsey released a rival review, put together by an expert team and explicitly set up as an alternative to Portas’ work, which Grimsey criticised. This briefing summarises the main points of Grimsey’s review and briefly discusses its context, reception and likely future. This briefing is relevant to councillors and officers across all areas and all tiers of local government, particularly those involved with planning and economic development.

The future of high streets: progress since the Portas Review

Eighteen months on from the Portas Review of high streets, the Government has published a progress report on national and local policies and initiatives to revitalise high streets and town centres. This briefing summarises the report and offers comment on key related developments and issues affecting high streets policy.

This briefing is relevant to councillors and officers across all areas and all tiers of local government, particularly those involved with planning and economic development.

Local Government Finance Act 2012 – Non-domestic rates

The Local Government Finance Act 2012 introduces a business rates retention scheme in England enabling local authorities to retain a proportion of the non-domestic rates generated in their area.
It also supports the development of Tax Incremental Financing and Enterprise Zones by enabling local authorities to borrow for capital schemes against projected growth in business rate income.
This briefing will be of interest to local authority cabinet and elected members and officers with an interest in finance, housing, regeneration and economic development and infrastructure.

EVENT: The Financial Implications of the Localism Act and the Local Government Finance Bill

In February, LGiU published research we’ve conducted with local finance officers on the impact and implications of the Local Government Finance Bill. The full results can be found here. Some key findings are: 47% of councils thought they will lose financially through …

LGiU/MJ Local Finance Bill survey: analysis and infographics

  The LGiU and MJ council finances survey gives mixed reviews of how localist the government’s policies are and what the practical impact will be.  A clear majority believe the government’s finance bill is decentralising, but around half are concerned that they …

LGiU on front page of today’s MJ

Research conducted by the LGiU is the headline story of this week’s MJ. You can read a summary of the story for free here, and the full version here (£). We will be posting our own analysis tomorrow, complete with …