SEAFORD: Town’s plea for business cash

A LETTER is to be penned to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in a bid to see money from business rates go back into the town rather than to the Government.

Currently the rates are collected by councils and paid to the Treasury for redistribution but Seaford Town Council (STC) is supporting proposals for a proportion of the money to go to town and parish councils instead.

The Government is setting out plans for this to happen and the issue was discussed by members of STC’s Finance and General Purposes Committee recently.

The committee has also backed proposals which would see town and parish councils exempt from paying business rates on the properties they own.

At the meeting Councillor Ian White got the ball rolling. He said, “I like to recommend we adopt this and write to both the local MP and Deputy Prime Minister.

“For many years businesses in the town have been paying quite a high business tax and there’s been little or no return to the town or district.”

The National Association of Local Councils has been proposing that a proportion of the local business rates be allocated to town and parish councils.

Some town councils have already written to Nick Clegg in support of the proposal and have also suggested that town and parish councils be treated equally with charities and be made exempt from paying business rates on properties which they own.

It is hoped this would free up funds which could then be used to provide additional services to the community or reduce the precept.