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Millions could be returned to Islington

PUBLISHED: 07:30 25 July 2011 | UPDATED: 08:00 25 July 2011

Islington Town Hall

Islington Town Hall

Archant

Millions of pounds in cash could be returned to Islington under new government proposals.

Currently, all the money the from business rates gets sent to Whitehall, which then gets redistributed in the form of grants.

Under the new legislation, local authorities would keep almost all of the cash, which Islington Council’s Liberal Democrat group estimate could bring in an extra £20 million.

Councillor John Gilbert, Islington Liberal Democrat finance spokesman, said: “This will be a significant step in returning power to local communities. Islington is set to gain considerably from these new freedoms.

“I am also very pleased to see that there will be protection for more deprived areas – we have a cast iron assurance that no local authority will receive less funding than they do at the moment.”

But Labour councillor Richard Greening, executive member for finance, said: “Yet again we see the Liberal Democrats supporting Tory policies that favour wealthy areas like the City of London at the expense of some of the poorest parts of the country.

“Aside from the fact that his figures are wrong, John Gilbert’s belief in a “cast iron assurance that no local authority will receive less funding than they do at the moment” is nonsense.

“The Tory-Lib Dem government will continue to slash Islington’s grant over the next three years, requiring us to make another 
£50 million of cuts.”

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