A fairer deal for Kingston
Kingston’s Conservative led Council is set to keep a greater share of business rates and have greater power on how it is spent from April next year thanks to the actions of local government leaders across London.
The plans to take part in a London wide pilot came before Full Council in December and will give local authorities like Kingston greater control over the money it collects.
Currently the Council collects around £85million in business rates from across the borough. However under the new pilot scheme negotiated by Conservative leaders, Kingston will retain and benefit from an additional £1.7million per year. This will enable local authorities like Conservative run Kingston, to have direct control over the money collected and use it to invest in public services throughout their boroughs as they see fit.
Under the current system business rates are set nationally, but collected locally. Since 2013 however arrangements have been implemented to allow authorities to retain a limited amount of the increased revenue arising from rates growth in their area. Kingston however has led the call for these arrangements to be extended and for business rates to be fully devolved to councils.
The new plans will see London retain a greater share of business rates in exchange for giving up some of its Revenue Support Grant (RSG). The current system across London sees Government retain 33% of the total collected, and redistributes this nationally through the RDG system. The remaining 67% is retained locally with the boroughs receiving a headline figure of 30%, and the GLA 37%.
Cllr Kevin Davis, Leader of Kingston Council, said:
Back in 2014 we first proposed the idea of exchanging our diminishing grant for a greater retention of business rates to the then Chancellor, George Osbourne.
I’m delighted to say that after many years of negotiations we are finally at a point of securing a fairer deal for Kingston and our residents. The additional funding will hugely benefit our local economy, benefitting Kingston residents and helping the council derive a greater share from growing our economy in the future.