Ground breaking deal with the government pays off for Cambridgeshire and its frontline services
PUBLISHED: 14:48 22 June 2017
A ground breaking deal with Government to benefit from local business growth, has netted Cambridgeshire County Council more that £450,000 towards funding frontline services – with further money still to come.
Cllr Steve Count – leader of the county council led negotiations on a ground breaking pilot deal with Government to retain additional growth in business rates, making Cambridgeshire one of only two areas in the UK to have successfully secured this concession.
Cllr Count: “The opportunity became possible because in Cambridgeshire we have consistently put ourselves at the forefront of driving economic growth – with our work to secure the £500m City Deal programme, and becoming the only three tier area to successfully secure a Combined Authority.”
The retained business rate pilot is initially for three years, rewarding the county for any growth in business rates above forecast.
In years two and three the forecast is increased by inflation and a stretch target of 0.5 per cent.
Cllr Steve Count stated: “In consequence I have been able to clearly demonstrate to Central Government that Cambridgeshire, as an area, and an authority, is a place it can do business with, as we know how to get things done and can deliver on our promises.”
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has recently released the payments for the first year of the pilot, which saw Cambridgeshire as a whole generate £2.5 million.
Out of which £453,207 (18%) goes to Cambridgeshire County Council, with the County’s five District or City councils retaining 80 per cent of the additional growth generated in their area, and the remaining two per cent going to the fire service.
The county council’s general purposes committee has agreed to use this additional income as a resource to support services that care for vulnerable children and adults in the county.
“This additional £453k in the first year, with more to follow in the two subsequent years means that we can look to investing in key frontline services supporting people’s independence, without resorting to asking for more from the hard pressed council taxpayers of Cambridgeshire.” Cllr Count added.