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Tory snap election delays Surrey's business rates lifeline

April 21, 2017 8:36 AM

Cllr Hazel Watson outside County HallLiberal Democrat county councillors have expressed their dismay at the news that Sajid Javid MP, the Conservative Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, has delayed the pilot scheme that would have allowed Surrey County Council to retain 100% of its business rates next year.

The Government had previously agreed to allow Surrey County Council to apply to become a pilot for the scheme in 2018/19 but the sudden announcement of a general election has meant that the parliamentary process to confirm this has been interrupted and the pilot scheme delayed.

Councillor Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said today:

"This delay follows continuing concern over the state of the County Council's finances and the furore caused by the Conservative-administration's attempts to raise council tax by 15% in February. How will Surrey plug the gap in its finances going forward? Does this mean that another council tax referendum is on the cards for next year? This pilot was hailed as a lifeline by the Conservatives at County Hall and now it has been snatched away. The Secretary of State and the Leader of the Council should come clean with residents and let them know the facts".

NOTES

Sajid Javid's statement on Surrey becoming a pilot area can be found here:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Lords/2017-02-09/HLWS474/