Merton Council to consult with businesses on budget and business plan

Merton Council wants to hear the valuable views of Merton’s businesses on the council’s budget and business plan proposals.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, the Leader of Merton Council will be at Merton Civic Centre on Thursday, 20 February from 6pm to 7pm to answer any questions business owners may have about the proposals for 2020/21, and the business plan 2020-24. The Leader will be joined by cabinet members and council officers at the event.

The event is part of the council’s annual consultation with businesses on the financial decisions it makes to balance the budget, and plan for the coming four years. Details of the proposed business plan will be considered by the council’s cabinet on Monday 24 February, and the plan will be available on the council’s website before the meeting.

Merton Council, along with all the other London Boroughs and the Greater London Assembly (GLA), have agreed to continue to operate a Business Rates Pool based on the 67 per cent retention scheme for the coming financial year. This means the London boroughs will receive a 30 per cent share from the business rates collected across the capital, the GLA will get 37% and the Government will receive the balance of 33%.

The aim of the rates retention pool is to enable councils to keep a greater proportion of London’s business rates to provide additional resources for local services. Merton Council recognises the importance of a vibrant local economy to the borough, and the key role local businesses play in creating jobs and prosperity for residents.

The responses to the consultation will all be considered as part of the business plan which will be reported back to the Cabinet meeting on the 24th February and finalised at full council on Wednesday 4 March.

Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “I run a small business myself and I was spokesperson for the Federation of Small Businesses, so I understand how important flourishing local businesses are to the success of our borough.

“I really value discussing our financial plans with the business community, and hearing their thoughts on what we’re doing. This consultation is all part on our ongoing work to ensure that Merton continues to be a business-friendly borough, including the work we are doing on automatic billing for small business relief.

“As a council we are proud to have adopted a business-like approach to all our services and to the financial decisions we make.”


Notes for editors

The Government designated a pan-London business rates pool in 2018-19, which piloted 100% retention in that year, and this was revised to pilot 75% retention in 2019-20.

The Government confirmed in September 2019 its intention not to renew the London pilot in 2020-21, and for London to revert back to the pre-existing 2017-18 67% retention scheme (which was a partial pilot, reflecting the incremental impact of the rolling in of the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Revenue Support Grant (RSG) and the Transport for London investment grant).