This week’s announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, that local authorities will be given back control of business rates has been warmly welcomed by Cllr Richard Kemp, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Local Government.

Said Cllr Kemp:

This will be a significant step in returning power to local communities. It is something that the LGA, on a cross-party basis, has been wanting for a long time now.

And Liberal Democrats were also very pleased to hear that there will be protection for more deprived areas – we had a cast iron assurance that no local authority will receive less funding than they do at the moment when the new rules are introduced.

Cllr Kemp also warmly welcomed the announcement that Tax Increment Financing is to be introduced for all councils, giving authorities the freedom to borrow against business rate income; also something the LGA has been supporting.

“These are major steps forward for genuine local control and choice”, he added.