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Derby to appeal block on supermarket tax

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Derby City Council has confirmed it intends to appeal against the government’s block on its plans to increase business rates for large supermarkets and shops.

The local authority said it would continue to lobby for support to increase business rates on larger out-of-town retailers, despite communities secretary Eric Pickles having called the proposal “a lazy way of thinking”.

The city council had asked for town halls across England to be given the power to levy an additional tax of up to 8.5% of the business rate on large shops, with an annual rateable value over £500,000, using the Sustainable Communities Act. The money raised would then be used to help small businesses.

Derby said 23 councils in England were in support of the proposal, as well as organisations including Unison, the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters, and Action for Market Towns, among others.

Ranjit Banwait (Lab), Derby’s leader, said Mr Pickles “holds everything local government stands for in contempt” and added the proposal was “not lazy”.

“It’s in response to what our local businesses are telling us, that it’s time those companies earning millions of pounds each year put more of their profits back into the local community,” he said.

The council is set to host a National Asian Business Association conference in Derby on 21 November with the aim of putting pressure on government to look again at the proposal.

Uday Dholakia, chairman of the NABA, said: “The aim of the conference is to galvanise support for a considered and well structured ‘supermarket levy proposition’ that will actually enable local authority intervention in support of small retailers.”

Derby City Council has also been invited to present its proposal to the LGA’s environment, economy, housing and transport board in January.

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