Laura Sharman 02 November 2018

Council considers bidding for new money raising powers

Councillors at Bath & North East Somerset are being urged to lobby the Government for new powers to raise money for local services, such as introducing levies on tourism and short-term lets.

A report - which will be considered by Full Council next week - recommends the council makes a series of requests to central government for new powers. This includes the power to introduce a tourism tax, fees for listed building applications and a levy on short-term lets.

The report highlights the fact adult social care and children's services now make up 80% of the council's net budget for 2018/19 compared to 66% in 2015/16.

Council leader, Cllr Tim Warren, said: 'At present, we are simply not allowed to raise money in the new ways suggested here, and are too dependent on the funds we receive from council tax and business rates. Residents have frequently expressed their concerns about the constraints placed on the council by central government, and this report sets out new thinking.

'Crucially, it does not suggest that we should necessarily introduce any of these proposals, but that government should allow us the powers to do so, if we wish, at local level. It’s about us asking central government to help us help ourselves- not just going to them for extra money.'

Theres a whiff of purpose once more on devolution image

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Devolution should rock the status quo and create a new culture of governance which pushes everyone who currently holds decision-making power out of their comfort zones, says deputy chief executive of New Local Jessica Studdert.
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