MP tells PM: 'Treat rural areas fairly on rates income'
MP has this week called on the Prime Minister to ensure that rural
areas of Somerset get their fair share of business rates income.
Heappey said: "How we fund local public services is one of
the big questions at Westminster."
has a cost that hitherto has not fully been included in the funding
for schools, policing, health and local government. Weve made
some progress in the first three but on the latter more work is
the chairman of the Rural Fair Share Campaign, I've been meeting
with ministers and this week I'll be taking that case to the Prime
Minister. The headline is that soon local authorities will retain
the business rates they raise locally."
great news; it encourages councils to be more entrepreneurial because
the more businesses they can entice to the area, the more business
rates they raise and the more money they have to spend on public
services. But we don't arrive at that self-sustaining panacea straight
the councils with the greatest costs from rurality and an ageing
population are often those with the smallest business rate bases."
will take time for economic growth in those areas to drive up the
tax take so there needs to be a full funding formula review so that
rural councils can maintain public services during the transition."
some significant redistribution from London and the Home Counties
to the regions will be needed in the interim."
bill for adult social care will rise and rise again as life expectancy
continues to increase. We owe all a long, happy and dignified retirement
but we also expect councils to deliver bus services, libraries,
refuse collection, road repair and more alongside those adult social
requires an urgent adjustment to local government funding so our
councils can plan over a longer period. I'll continue to push for
that in Westminster."