Gloucestershire

Gloucester superstore levy idea thrown out by council

A council has thrown out a motion to introduce a levy on out-of-town superstores.

Jeremy Hilton, a Lib Dem councillor at Gloucester City Council, had proposed the levy, saying it could raise £1.26m a year for the authority.

It would have affected nine supermarkets, DIY and electrical stores outside Gloucester's centre.

Mr Hilton said while the Liberal Democrats voted in favour, Conservative and Labour councillors were against it.

"At the moment, Gloucester City Council is not supporting our proposal which is disappointing because the number of large supermarkets in Gloucester is growing and the damage done to the city centre is noticeable," he said.

He had proposed a levy of 8.5% of the rate on large retail outlets under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007, using any money raised to help city centre traders.

Before the meeting, Conservative leader of the council Paul James had said the tax may send the wrong message to businesses.

Labour's Kate Haigh said: "I think we should give the legislation some time to bed down before we come up with any proposal for Gloucestershire."

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