Andrew Percy: I note my hon. Friend’s interest as chairman of the all-party beer group. I am happy to work with local authorities to develop community pubs. Listing a pub as an asset of community value gives communities time to bid to buy it should the owner decide to sell. We have supported community buying through the £3.6 million “More than a Pub” programme.
Andrew Percy: We are permanently doubling the level of small business rate relief from next year, meaning that 600,000 small businesses will pay no business rates at all. In addition, 17,000 pubs may be eligible for small business rate relief from 1 April next year, depending on their rateable value. Around 13,000 are potentially eligible for 100% relief, compared with some 4,000 now.
Andrew Percy: Before the review, we agreed a methodology with the industry through which the revaluations would take place, so that is why that mechanism is used.
Andrew Percy: This is an independent process and it would not be appropriate for Ministers to intervene in it. We have, of course, provided £3.6 billion of transitional relief for those businesses affected by the revaluation, but I refer back to the statistics I gave in an answer a moment ago about the number of businesses that could now qualify for 100% relief.
Andrew Percy: Any individual or organisation can make representations on planning applications for infrastructure projects, and it is of course for the decision maker to decide what weight, if any, should be given to those representations.
Andrew Percy: I am aware of this issue and my hon. Friend’s advocacy on behalf of his constituency. Clearly, legislation does require Highways England to have regard to the AONB’s purpose to conserve and enhance that natural beauty. I am more than happy to meet him or to pass his concerns on to the appropriate Department with regard to this issue.
Andrew Percy: It is absolutely appropriate that AONBs receive the protection they do in the planning process. I am more than happy to pass on my right hon. Friend’s question and concerns about the tunnel and the Chilterns to the Secretary of State for Transport.
Andrew Percy: We have provided a long-term funding settlement to North East Lincolnshire Council, which will have £592 million to spend over this Parliament. In addition, the two local enterprise partnerships serving the hon. Lady’s area—the Humber LEP and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP—have received £114 million and £126 million respectively, and we will be making further announcements shortly.
Andrew Percy: I would be delighted to do so. The situation is deeply disappointing. I met Councillor Steve Brady, the Labour leader of Hull City Council, only on Friday, when we discussed devolution. The hon. Lady can of course turn up at this afternoon’s meeting of the all-party parliamentary group on Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, where she will see a devolution double whammy with the Secretary of...
Andrew Percy: I absolutely congratulate local leaders in the west of England on their grown-up approach, and my hon. Friend on his work on this deal, which will bring an additional £1 billion of investment in infrastructure, as well as devolving powers from this place to the local community on transport, adult skills, and housing and planning.
Andrew Percy: We have only announced regional allocations, so it is not correct to say at this point that the South East LEP will receive £55 million. The final figures will be announced in the coming weeks, and the initial funding allocations given to LEPs for discussion may change somewhat.
Andrew Percy: We all want to see our high streets succeed and thrive and that is why we have introduced the biggest cut in business rates, worth £6.7 billion. We have launched the high street pledge, we have introduced digital high street pilots, and we are celebrating our high streets through the Great British High Street award, the finalists of which we announced last week.
Andrew Percy: I know from my constituency how important the high street is in attracting people in. I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for the work he is doing in his constituency. We saw an increase in footfall in August of 1.1%. We are working closely across government with our colleagues in DCMS on funds such as the Discover England Fund and, of course, the Coastal Communities Fund, which is funding a...
Andrew Percy: Of course, the business rate cut is helping 600,000 of the smallest businesses, which do not pay any business rates at all. It is fiscally neutral, and three quarters of businesses will see a cut. I would have thought that that would be something the hon. Gentleman would welcome.
Andrew Percy: I congratulate my hon. Friend on this excellent competition. I look forward to hearing the results, and pay tribute to all the work she is doing. Independent retailers are central to the success of many of our high streets and I pay tribute to the work they do. They of course will benefit from the small business rate cut that we have announced.
Andrew Percy: Again, the business rate cut is of significant value to many of our pubs. A huge number of tourists coming to the UK list a visit to a great British pub among their desires for their trip. That is why we made the changes we did to beer duty.
Andrew Percy: The Government are clear that there are huge opportunities on Teesside, which was why the Secretary of State met Tees Valley leaders last week. That is also why we are committed to implementing the groundbreaking devolution deal. We have made the transfer of the first £15 million. In addition, we will be providing Tees Valley with £37.7 million this year from our local growth fund.
Andrew Percy: We are already implementing some of those recommendations. Many, of course, were down to local implementation. Just last week, we issued the indemnity allowing the site inspections to be undertaken. Once the inspections have been completed, we expect the MDC, which we wish to establish in the middle of next year, to come forward with proposals on resources. The national teaching service pilot...
Andrew Percy: It is a pleasure to see my hon. Friend in his place. We are all proud of our coastal communities. I say that as a Member representing a coastal community myself. We have already invested £125 million in coastal communities across the United Kingdom through the coastal community fund, £92 million of which was invested in England. We want to go even further, and we have identified at least a...
Andrew Percy: I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for his advocacy on behalf of the trust. It should seek guidance and support from its funding officer and its capital adviser who has been assigned to it by the Big Lottery Fund, which administers the coastal communities fund on our behalf. Advice is also available to it on the Big Lottery Fund website.