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Boris Nonsson releases spending package for abandoned cities | Politics



Boris Johnson announced another election package costing hundreds of millions of pounds for abandoned cities, some of which will be spent in marginal polling stations.

Concentrating on the city's high streets, closing down pubs and post offices and rebuilding rail links, the prime minister claims the measures will build on the £ 3.6 billion city fund, first released in July.

Cities that have been outlined in the new measures include Clevley, near Blackpool, where the Conservatives are defending a 2,023 majority, and Villehnal in Walsall North, where they hope to improve by a 2,601 majority.

Labor said last night the Conservatives were responsible for destroying the high streets they now claim will help. Andrew Guin, secretary of the Shadow Communities, said: "The Tories are destroying our high streets and cities. A decade of malicious cuts to the services people rely on in our communities took 60 pp. on every 1 from council budgets. "

Nonson said the next conservative government would extend the retail discount on business rates to 50% next year. For businesses with an estimated value of less than £ 51,000, this would mean an increase of the current retail discount of 33% in 2020-21. This would amount to "effective tax cuts of £ 280m" for small businesses, the party claims.

A new £ 1,000 easing of business rates for pubs will also be introduced under the Johannes majority government – a tax cut of £ 18m for next year, it is claimed.

The Conservatives have said they will also introduce a £ 150m fund to help groups trying to take over and running pubs and post offices threatened with closure.

Following previous pledges to reduce rail cuts, recommended by Dr Richard Becking in the 1960s, nonson also pledged to set up a £ 500m beetle fund.

Cities such as Ashton, Seaton Delawal and Blith, with a combined population of 100,000, will receive cash at the request of the Northumberland council for £ 99m to return the stations, the Tory claim.

Wilhelm and Darlaston in the West Midlands will receive £ 18m to open the stations – an additional £ 10m has already been provided by the government, the party said.

Investments will be provided to link Skelmerdale with Liverpool and Manchester. A used rail line to improve transport links for Thornton-Cleveland and Fleetwood is being funded.

In a statement last night, Johnson said: "For too long, many cities and villages across the UK have been neglected and left behind. When the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, many communities believe their voices have been heard for the first time in decades and that their lives will improve.

"We will invest in these communities and help people get their heart back to the places they call home."

An organization representing retailers has said that Johnson's plans do not go far enough to revive troubled UK shopping areas.

Tom Ironside, director of business and regulation at the British Retail Consortium, said most of the 3 million workers in the UK were employed in businesses that would not benefit from today's announcement.

"It is essential that the next government rejects the 'down transition', which costs retailers £ 1.3bn, freezes next year's rate and introduces improvement incentives to boost investment on our high streets.

"To ensure the long-term vitality of our malls and city centers, the next government should follow the recommendations of the committee on selected CBs and commit to a major reform of our broken business rates system," he said.

The Conservatives have been accused of using public money to boost the prospects for the election after it was found that city funding was going to richer Tory margins. A Times analysis revealed this week that one-third of the 100 cities that should receive the £ 3.6 billion pot were not among the 300 most dangerous cities.

These include Lofborough, who in the last election was conquered by Niki Morgan, secretary of culture, with a majority of about 4,000. Kirby was not on the list.


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