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High Streets in Havering and Redbridge (2)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Keith Prince Keith Prince Conservative

Have you or your senior team had any engagement with businesses in Havering and Redbridge to discuss concerns about the high street and business rate reform? If so, what were the outcomes of these discussions?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

As part of my wider approach to support Town centres and high streets across London I have strongly lobbied central government to give London more control over business rates to better support our high street businesses. This will help places like Redbridge and Havering as shopping habits change and more people shop online.

Following the 2017 revaluation I increased the rateable value threshold for paying the Crossrail business rate supplement to £70,000. This reduced the number of firms paying by over 20% in Havering (around 165 fewer) and by a quarter in Redbridge (around 130 fewer). Havering and Redbridge will have 7 Crossrail stations.

Alongside London Councils and the capital’s business community, I successfully lobbied Government to slow the increases in bills they were planning. These changes have helped to save London businesses around £100 million over the last 3 years, but the Government needs to offer a better solution for the long-term.

I have called for a wholesale transfer of fiscal responsibilities (as recommended by the London Finance Commission), including the full devolution of business rates to London including control of the valuation and tax setting process. I would encourage the Government to consider making these and wider reforms as part of its current fundamental review of business rates which is due to conclude later this year.