Government Intervenes to Speed Up Business Rate Relief Allocation

Thousands of businesses are still waiting for small business rate relief after the process that councils go through to issue new bills has been subject to months of delay.

Local Government Minister Marcus Jones has set a deadline of 21 August for the software providers to local councils to provide updates so that new bills can be issued to businesses that are due relief.

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Cross Party Group Calls for ‘Rapid Development’ of Electric Vehicle Charging Points

A cross party group of MPs and Lords have called on the Government to introduce the provisions of the Clean Air Bill tabled by Labour MP Geraint Davies.

The letter, signed by 119 parliamentarians, follows the publication of the Government’s Air Quality Plan which aims to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 in favour of a wider electric vehicle infrastructure.

Provisions in the Clear Air Bill, which aim to go further than the Air Quality Plan, include:

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Convenience Stores Encouraged to Take Part in Digital High Street Pilot

Convenience stores in a number of pilot towns are being given the opportunity to take part in a scheme set up by Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, working with the government’s Future High Streets Forum, to help retailers work together to promote their towns online.  The pilot is using the #WDYT hashtag to generate conversations among customers in Gloucester, Stroud and Cheltenham, with the pilot now being extended to Leamington Spa, Stafford and a number of other towns that are preparing to launch.

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Rates of Recorded Crime in England and Wales see Largest Rise in a Decade

According to reports from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), crime in England and Wales has seen its largest annual increase in a decade.

Figures from ONS have shown that a total of around five million crimes were reported to and recorded by the police last year, this is a ten per cent rise from the previous year. These crimes include a range of offences such as burglary, theft and violent crimes.

Key points from the report include:

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Bank of England Unveils New Polymer £10 Note

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has unveiled the design of the new £10 note. The note is printed on polymer and is the first Bank of England banknote with a tactile feature to help blind and partially sighted users.

The £10 note contains sophisticated security features which make it very difficult to counterfeit. It is expected to last at least 2.5 times longer than the current paper £10 notes – around 5 years in total – and stay in better condition during day to day use.

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