Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West has today welcomed an announcement by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid about the inclusion of Berkshire in the Business Rates Retention Pilot.
As part of the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2018/19, Mr Javid announced that Berkshire will be included in a new 100% business rates retention pilot scheme. This pilot will start in 2018 and will test out aspects of a new future business rates retention programme due to be implemented in 2020/21, which will give local councils the levers and incentives they need to grow their local economies.
In January 2017, Alok wrote to the Chancellor, on behalf of Reading Borough Council, seeking more information about the Government’s proposals for local retention of business rates.
Following this, he then wrote in March 2017 to the Secretary of State for Local Government, and the Chancellor, supporting the application by the six Berkshire Unitary Authorities (Reading, West Berkshire, Wokingham, Slough, Bracknell, Windsor and Maidenhead) to be included in the Government’s business rates retention pilot from April next year.
Alok Sharma said: “Having lobbied both the Chancellor and the Communities Secretary to ensure that Berkshire was part of the Business Rates Retention Pilot, I am absolutely delighted with this news.”
Alok Sharma continued: “Ultimately, this will mean more money for public services for my constituents in Reading Borough and West Berkshire.”