How Coastal BID advocated ATCM in achieving the Policy Landscape transformed since the Turn of the Year
The policy landscape in the UK for town and city centres, and the people who manage them, looks different now, to what it did just a few weeks ago. Firstly, Coastal BID is a member of Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) who played a key role in shaping England’s Local Government Finance Bill 16/17 which was tabled in Parliament on the 13th January.
Here is how:
100% Business Rates Retention: ATCM sits on the DCLG/LGA business interests group and Coastal BID responded in the consultation. ATCM achieved that 100% Business Rates Retention is at the centre of the Local Government Finance Bill.
Cuts to Business Rates: The Local Government Finance Bill will bring forward cuts to the way inflation is calculated for Business Rates (from in average higher and more volatile Retail Price Index (RPI) to Consumer Price Index (CPI). This follows years of campaigning on the cost of rates.
Minimising in the Role of LEPs in Bringing Forward the Infrastructure Levy: ATCM’s concerns that LEP governance currently is not strong enough to allow then the deciding vote on infrastructure levy plans has been accepted. LEPs have been dropped from this proposal, for now.
ATCM has also helped shape the Industrial Strategy Green Paper. This is how they listened to their members and did it:
This strategy will be the foundation of the UK’s economic policy for the foreseeable future. The green paper published in January which outlines the direction of travel for the UK Government makes clear that, of the ten pillars that form the Industrial Strategy, the tenth pillar is about places and the institutions that manage these places. The emergence of a place-based approach being embedded within the UK’s economic policy is a significant step forward.
More to Do
The hard work of Coastal BID influencing via ATCM high-level economic policy cannot end here. There is much more left to do. ATCM and its members need to ask tough questions of the Government including:
- Will there be the necessary modernisation of the BID legislation (such as e-voting)?
- If LEPs cannot sanction an infrastructure levy then how will business scrutiny of proposals be undertaken?
- How will cuts to business rates following fiscal devolution impact the budgets of local authorities delivering baseline services?
- How can ATCM ensure that BIDs as town & city management schemes are explicitly placed front and centre of the Industrial Strategy?
One thing is certain – Coastal BID makes your voice heard with ATCM well placed to ask these questions on behalf of its members. The former Chair of ATCM’s All-Party-Parliamentary-Group (APPG) for Town Centres, Marcus Jones MP, is the Minister bringing forward the Local Government Finance Bill. Our current Chair of the APPG for Town Centres, Jim McMahon, is Shadow Minister for Local Government and therefore has a role in scrutinising the Bill. Finally, the Shadow Minister, Clive Lewis, has specifically asked ATCM to input into Labour’s consultation on the Industrial Strategy.
Furthermore, Coastal BID keeps advocating that business rates continue to burden businesses and need to be simpler, fairer and more competitive.
This is why we are your local voice on national town policy landscape which can impact on performance of your business in your locality.