Public disorder – help for high streets
A £10m recovery fund to help councils with the immediate costs of making their areas safe, clear and clean again. This fund can be used, for example, to clear debris left strewn in streets and make immediate repairs to pavements and roads. This Recovery scheme can also be used to support councils who use their powers to offer council tax discounts or council tax relief to those whose homes have been damaged but are still habitable.
A £20m High Street Support Scheme – funded jointly by the Departments for Communities and Local Government, and Business Innovation and Skills, which will be made available immediately, for the streets and areas where businesses were affected by the rioting. The money is intended to finance those measures that will get business trading again and meet short term costs. Councils will distribute the money and could use it to reduce business rates, finance building repairs and encourage customers back to the affected areas.
In addition, seriously damaged homes and business properties will be taken off the respective valuation lists, and Mr Pickles has strongly encouraged the Valuation Office Agency and local authorities to do so as promptly as possible. This removes any liability for council tax or business rates.
Councils have the power to offer rate relief for local firms, but must pay a quarter of the cost; central government automatically pays for three quarters of the cost. The High Street Support Scheme will help reimburse councils for this cost, to facilitate immediate and real financial help to be given to small and medium firms to rebuild their local businesses. Business rates are typically the third biggest outgoing for firms after rent and staff.
Local businesses can get more information from http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/home