James Duddridge lobbies for Southend to be considered for the Government Business Rates Pilot Scheme

James Duddridge Local Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East Lobbies Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Rt. Hon Sajid Javid to consider Southend for Government Business Rates Pilot Scheme.

On Wednesday, James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, attended the speech made by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid in the House of Commons on local government funding.

James was particularly interested in the new business rate retention scheme, under which local government retains 100% of its business rate revenue income. This scheme has been piloted in ten authorities, including nearby in Kent and Medway.


James said:

I welcome the 10 county-wide pilots. Will the Secretary of State consider extending the pilots to include small unitaries such as Southend and Thurrock or areas of the county such as south Essex, if the whole Essex plan does not work?


Sajid Javid responded:

There will be further pilots and I will come on to that in just a moment.

It is right that we will be going further. It is our aim for local authorities to retain 75% of business rates from 2020-21. This will be achieved by incorporating existing grants into business rates retention, including the revenue support grant and the public health grant. Local authorities will be able to retain 75% of the growth in their business rates from the new base lines in 2020-21, when the system is re-set.

The long-term plan is to allow local government to keep 100% of its business rates. With that in mind, I announced an expansion of the 100% retention pilots that proved so popular in December. As a result, we will be taking forward 10 new pilots covering 89 authorities, instead of the five we originally planned. A further pilot will begin in London in 2018-19, and existing devolution pilots will continue in 2018-19.