Gloucester city councillors are due to debate a Liberal Democrat motion to give the council powers to introduce a local levy on large superstores outside the city centre.
The local levy would be rated at 8.5% on all large retail units trading outside Gloucester’s historic city centre, with rateable value of £500,000 or more.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton who will propose the motion said: “Our aim is to help Gloucester city centre traders recover from damage done to it by large superstores trading outside the city centre. The large out of centre stores already benefit from free customer parking, whilst customers visiting city centre stores have to pay to park in city centre car parks. If approved we will use the extra £1.260 million income to improve the city centre, reduce vacant retail units and encouraging small independent traders.”
Cllr. Declan Wilson who will second the motion said: “The local levy would only be charged on superstores that are trading outside the city centre, so Debenhams would not be subject to this levy. A levy of 8.5% on all large out of city centre stores in Gloucester should raise an additional £1.260 million per annum for the council. We would want to invest this sum of money in the economic and environmental wellbeing of the city centre.”
The Liberal Democrat proposal to introduce this local levy will need to be approved by the Secretary of State under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. The council would work closely with Local Works and other councils to get the Secretary of State’s approval.
Motion – Gloucester City Council 12th September
This Council notes the request from ‘Local Works’ to consider submitting the following proposal to the government under the Sustainable Communities Act:
‘That the Secretary of State gives Local Authorities the power to introduce a local levy of 8.5% of the rate on large retail outlets in their area with a rateable annual value not less that £500,000 and requires that the revenue from this levy be retained by the Local Authority in order to be used to improve local communities in their areas by promoting local economic activity, local services and facilities, social and community wellbeing and environmental protection.’
This Council notes that if this power was acquired it would present the opportunity to raise further revenue for the benefit of local communities, should the Council wish to use it and that this Council would only levy an 8.5% charge on large retail units based outside the city centre
This Council resolves to prepare a proposal to submit to the government under the Sustainable Communities Act and to work together with Local Works to gain support for the proposal from other councils in the region and across the country.
Proposed Jeremy Hilton
Seconded Declan Wilson