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Local communities to be given more power to decide – George welcomes Minister’s statement

Local communities will be given more power to come up with local solutions to problems and opportunities. This announcement was made today in a debate called by West Cornwall MP, Andrew George.

The Minister responding to the debate – Rt. Hon Greg Clark MP – said that he had today signed off the Government regulations necessary to give local communities more say and power to come up with their own solutions.

Referring to his local towns of Penzance and Helston, Mr George promoted his own example of a proposal which would help to address the problem of out-of-town supermarkets undermining the viability of town centres. He pointed out that the business ratings system fails to properly reflect the massive commercial advantage which large supermarkets have by providing extensive free car parking to their customers. He proposed that the Government give local communities the power to levy a supplementary business rate on out-of-town supermarkets and that the income from it be used to enhance the town centre, perhaps through reduced or “free-first-hour” parking in the retail centre.

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