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Healey publishes Business Bill

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John Healey has published the Bill designed to enable local councils and businesses to work together more for the long-term economic prosperity of their communities.

The Business Rate Supplements Bill gives county and unitary councils in England, and the Greater London Authority, new powers to raise and retain funds for economic development projects in their area.

The Bill also gives the business community a key role in decisions, with councils having a duty to consult local businesses on the use of the new power.

Where the Business Rate Supplements will fund more than a third of any one project, companies will be given the opportunity to vote.

Smaller businesses will not be expected to pay the supplement.

Job opportunities

The legislation follows the Sub-National Review of Economic Development and Regeneration, which confirmed Government plans to introduce these new powers.

Local Government Minister John Healey said: "Councils and businesses alike are working hard to weather this difficult economic climate, but neither should lose sight of the opportunities that the economic recovery will bring.

"The Business Rate Supplements Bill will give councils the power to work with local businesses on economic development projects that will improve their local area, boost job opportunities and further increase confidence in the local economy."

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