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Friday, 23rd Aug 2013

Off your trolley? Public Meeting about 8.5% Business Levy campaign

Bristol Green Party is to host a public meeting about proposals to strengthen local businesses using a small levy imposed on the biggest retailers.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday the 4th of September, at Hamilton House, Stokes Croft, Bristol. Doors open at 7pm for a prompt 7:15pm start.

Speakers at the meeting will be Steve Shaw, director of Local Works, the organisation who have initiated the campaign nationwide, and the Green Party Lead European candidate for the South West, Molly Scott Cato. It will also feature Joy Carey, author of the report ‘Who Feeds Bristol’ which highlights the lack of sustainability in Bristol's food system.

The proposal - under the campaign - is to seek the power for local government to have the power to impose an additional 8.5% business rate on those businesses which have a rateable value of over £500,000 per annum.

Similar proposals have already been introduced in Northern Ireland and in Scotland. In the case of Scotland, the levy is restricted to large business which sell alcohol and tobacco, thereby making it predominately apply to supermarkets.

If the levy were applied to all business of the size proposed within Bristol, it would raise approximately £3.3m per annum for Bristol City Council. Greens would like to see any money raised spent supporting the local economy and smaller local businesses.

Charlie Bolton, Green Party campaigner said

"It’s great to have Local Works come down to explain the campaign. And I urge as many people as possible to come along and hear about the proposals. It will also be interesting to hear peoples views on the issues it throws up - for example should it be about all business or - as far as possible - just supermarkets, or how do you take into account Business improvement Districts."

The meeting will be held in the run up to a report going to the full council meeting of Bristol City Council. Admission is free.

For more information, please contact Charlie Bolton on 0117 966 1639 or Aaron James, on 07963691128

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