The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Finance Spokesperson, Peter Black has asked the Minister for Finance to consider allowing local authorities to replicate measures in England that enables councils to access additional capital funds for regeneration projects.
A number of English cities can currently anticipate income from additional business rates that might be generated by a regeneration project in the future and use that to borrow money so as to enable that project to go ahead. This is not happening in Wales despite being highlighted by a committee report over 18 months ago.
"In England, local authorities can keep their business rates to innovate and regenerate, but we can't here" said Mr Black. "English cities can supplement their budgets to help regenerate their towns and cities, but Welsh towns and cities are still waiting for the Welsh Labour Government to make up their minds."
"I have been asking the Minister to look into this for 18 months. She is still waiting for a working group to report. Wales is falling behind whilst English local councils take advantage of the ability of the UK Government to think outside the box.."