Sandwell councillor and TaxPayers’ Alliance supporter Tony Ward made the Express and Star today after asking some very pertinent questions of council leader and champion of The Public gallery, Bob Badham.
In light of the £70million redevelopment of West Bromwich, where Sandwell Council own the freehold, Cllr Ward asked if local businesses and high street names would be offered tax breaks and rent reductions in order to attract them to the town centre.
Cllr Ward said:
“I would like to know whether there are any plans for start-up deals.
It is quite expensive to rent one of these shops, and would it be possible to offer twelve months of paying half rent”.
His suggestions take on even more relevance given the current economic crisis.
Though Cllr Badham said that it was ‘too early’ to say whether the council could put start-up packages together for retailers, Sandwell would do well to offer tax cuts and tax breaks to entice business into their particularly deprived borough.
For too long the people of Sandwell have shelled out their council tax for relatively little (in the recent past council services have been poor whilst they’ve had to bare witness to the hideous waste that is The Public gallery fiasco), and deserve decent amenities and reasonable tax rates. If tax breaks can boost local businesses and encourage high street retailers to this dilapidated town, boosting the local economy and creating jobs, then it’s imperative that the Labour administration take Cllr Ward’s comments very seriously.