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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Vote brings levy plan for South Lakes stores step closer

A LEVY on supermarkets has been backed by South Lakes councillors who believe large out-of-town stores should contribute more to the local community.

South Lakeland District Council’s cabinet voted to support a proposed supermarket levy at a meeting in Ulverston yesterday.

The idea for the levy was first put forward by Derby City Council and has since been backed by 20 local authorities across the country.

The proposal was submitted under the Sustainable Communities Act, a piece of legislation that allows councils to present solutions to local issues.

If approved by the government, councils would be granted the power to place a levy of up to 8.5 per cent on large supermarkets with a rateable value of £500,000 or more.

The cash would then be used to promote local shops, improve services and facilities, boost social and community wellbeing and increase environmental protection.

Supporters of the scheme point to research that suggests 95 per cent of cash spent in large supermarkets is taken out of the local economy, compared with just 50 per cent from independent shops.

Councillor Giles Archibald, SLDC’s portfolio holder for town centres and small business, said: “The council recognises that supermarkets do bring their own benefits to the area but this can’t be at the expense of local traders and town centres.

“In Northern Ireland, where the levy has been introduced, supermarkets have not ceased investment nor has there been a measurable impact on jobs.

“The Retail Consortium has also stated it would be nearly impossible for supermarkets to pass the costs on to their customers.

“The supermarket levy would provide a means by which supermarkets could operate in a way that helps support the local area, local jobs and local business.

“The levy would represent a very small proportion of profits for supermarkets but would provide valuable funds for local communities.”

Have your say

Quote Archibald :- The Retail Consortium has also stated it would be nearly impossible for supermarkets to pass the costs on to their customers. and it would be impossible to tell if they had. I bet not one penny of any levy will enhance the lives of Cumbrians unless they are councillors.

Posted by Redneck Rampage on 28 August 2014 at 19:30

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