With the government reducing grant funding to local councils to zero, Cabinet councillors in Eastbourne have agreed to be part of a pilot scheme that could see over £4m of business rates retained locally in East Sussex.
Business rates are currently split 50/50, with East Sussex collection authorities such as Eastbourne taking a share of 40%, 9% is payable to East Sussex County Council, 1% to East Sussex Fire and Rescue Authority, and the other 50% goes to the government.
The new pilot scheme will see 75% of business rate income retained in East Sussex. The increased share could deliver up to £500k for local services in Eastbourne 2019/20. This is £200k more than the current pooling benefit.
Councillor Stephen Holt, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The crushing cuts in government funding to local councils are well known. Consequently, the pressure on vital public services is unprecedented.
“The business rate pilot forecasts additional income for Eastbourne that, if fully realised, would amount to welcome support for local services.”
The pool of authorities that are taking part in the pilot scheme in East Sussex includes Hastings Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Rother District Council, Wealden District Council, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Authority, East Sussex County Council and Eastbourne Borough Council.
Published on 8 February, 2019