Councils have “an historic opportunity” to shape their financial future and to select the powers that will be devolved from Whitehall to Town Halls according to Greg Clark.
By the end of this decade, local government will retain 100% of locally-raised business rates – which by 2020 will see councils retain an additional £12.5 billion, on top of existing business rates.
The Communities Secretary said this crucial reform will make councils the drivers of economic growth in their communities, while also helping to transform the key services that their residents value.
In exchange for this financial freedom, Mr Clark published a list of responsibilities that could be transferred to councils across the country, including funding for public health.
Speaking at the Local Government Association (LGA) annual conference, the Communities Secretary urged councils, businesses and others to have a say over how the new system of funding would work.
Mr Clark also launched the first steps in a Fair Funding Review, which will provide councils with their fair share of funding according to local needs under the new system.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:
“For years, councils have been calling for central government to give them the power to retain local taxes, including business rates.
Today, we set out the first steps towards making that ambition a reality, transforming the relationship between Whitehall and town halls and putting local government at the heart of delivering strong economic growth for their communities.
These next few weeks offer councils an historic opportunity to play their part in these radical reforms and to shape their financial futures for decades to come.”