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Thousands of companies in the capital say they fear they'll
be forced to close - as a result of planned increases
in business rates to be introduced in April.
London will be hardest hit - with some areas facing a rise
Today, a coalition of businesses and local councils joined the Mayor
in calling on the Government to rethink its plans.
The Chancellor says he's 'listening' to concerns from businesses.
Here's our Political editor, Tim Donovan.
Leonard has fixed cars for 12 years here in Pakistan. Rapidly rising
rents in the area have led the rateable value of his premises to go
up from 16,000 to ?25,000. And that means that instead of ?7,000 per
year he will now have to pay 11,000. All I do is repair cars and keep
them on the road and there is no reason why I should be hit in such a
way. We need help. What will happen if you do not get help? I
will have to go and claim benefits and I am hoping the government has
money to pay me and my workers. Will you be able to carry on? Know. If I
was to leave the area and head towards Dagenham, I would lose my
customers. They would lose me. That is what they are saying. They do not
want me to go. There will be some transitional relief, temporary help
in the first few years but the warnings of closure extend to
players big and small. Everywhere from brick laying to Bond Street are
facing tax hikes and it is pubs, restaurants, retailers, large
storage down to corner business and it is a huge tax rise facing a lot
of businesses and almost ?900 million extra that is going to be
phased for London businesses coming up. Our members have told us that
over the next five years the cost of doing business will
mean they might have to shut up shop or move out of Central London but
for many businesses the likelihood is they will refrain from investing
or taking on more staff. Word learners businesses, Hackney, there
has been the greatest increase in the rateable value of property, up
46%, but Islington is not far behind and in Hammersmith and Fulham it has
gone up by a third. Other areas are not so badly hit. In Hillingdon, it
is up by 1% and in Merton it is 7%. Pressure is now growing on the
government from MPs to provide more help in London and the government
says its revaluation is making rates more fairly reflect the property
market. 140,000 firms will benefit from a pot of money to ease the
transition. And Marc Ashdown is central London
this evening because it's not just That's right. It is all businesses.
One of the Mayers first bits of business was to create a czar to
boost the economy jobs and growth and we are told that the sector
could be hit hard. 7000 businesses, ones which operate at night,
businesses, mainly retailers and restaurants could see their rents go
up by 50% in April. In this area, the West End, rates could go up to
?240 million overnight. The Mayor has joined the voices urging the
Chancellor for a rethink. We are saying to the government, think
again. In the past when there have been increases in business rates
made by the government, they have had a longer transitional period
which gives time for a business to plan, put money aside, unless the
government reconsiders, businesses are going to struggle. Don't forget,
businesses in London are feeling pretty hard done by. They have lots
of grapes, among them the rising costs of apprentices and pressures
on rent, but we are told Phillip Hammond has been meeting with London
MPs yesterday and we are told he is in a listening mood and it will be
interesting to see how all of this feeds in and what he has to say in
his forthcoming budget in two weeks' time. I do.
Five people have been arrested after causing major disruption
to rush hour traffic around Heathrow.
Anti-expansion campaigners blocked a major approach road to the airport
830 this morning, the main approach toddle to Heathrow Airport. A BBC
reporter captures the moment campaigners unblock access to
terminals two and three chaining themselves to their vehicle. What
are you doing? Outside the tunnel, traffic was building. Delays,
disruption for commuters and airport passengers. That tunnel was shut for
more than two hours. I am on my way to catch my playing. It is
desperate. What are you going to do? I don't know. Walk to the airport.
It is not good but they have a right to protest. But not on my day. It is
not the first protest against Heathrow expansion and it is
unlikely to be the last. Rarely has there been a more divisive subject.
One group says it wanted to highlight the impact of the proposed
third runway and the impact it will have on climate change. Do you think
this was the best way to go about it? Disrupting passengers? I
sympathise with that. At the same time, we felt we did not have a
choice. We are acting in solidarity with local people who stand to lose
their homes, who face noise from the flight path in their houses and
we're here to highlight the fact that globally we need to be really
significantly reducing our carbon emissions. Although the government
gave approval for a third runway at Heathrow as its preferred option to
increase capacity back in October, that doesn't guarantee it is going
to arrive any time soon. Public consultation into the decision is
currently underway and the group responsible for the disruption today
says they consider the process is there a submission to the
consultation. One campaign group in support of the expansion have dubbed
the actions of the protesters as counter-productive. They say the
pros outweigh the cons. Most local residents support expansion and they
do so because of the enormous benefits that will come to London
including 5000 new apprenticeships which will practically eradicate
youth unemployment. We are also talking about 77,000 new local jobs
and ?61 billion which will be invested in the local area which
will make a real difference to ordinary Londoners. Five protesters
were arrested. The third runway may be a long way off but those against
and say they will fight it all the way.
Commuters face disruption tomorrow due to a 24-hour tube
strike starting tonight. It means there will be
limited services all day on two major tube lines -
the Central and Waterloo City lines.
The walkout by the members of the RMT union is over moving
You can get regular travel updates tomorrow on our website and on BBC
Radio London or on Twitter by following us.
Sutton United's reserve goalkeeper has resigned from the club over
An online bookmaker had offered odds of eight-to-one that he'd be shown
eating a pie in the dugout during last night's FA
Wayne Shaw eating a pasty, he says, seem like fun?
Sutton United's reserve goalkeeper, improbably,
but this bite settled a
The company which sponsored Sutton's shirts had offered odds
Speaking on the BBC at lunchtime, Wayne Shaw
We're told that we're not allowed to gamble as in in, like,
because it's full-time football, so, you know, I've no way put anyone
This is definitely not the case here.
This is just, you know, a bit of fun and obviously me being hungry.
Part reserve keeper, Wayne Shaw was part groundsman, part
He became a focal point of their joyous FA Cup
The UK's Gambling Commission, concerned about novelty bets said...
"Integrity in sport is not a joke and we've opened an investigation
The Football Association equally unamused.
"We're investigating to establish whether there's been any breach
of the FA rules relating to betting", it said.
In the light of all this, Sutton asked Shaw to resign, he did.
The implications of it are wide reaching, we didn't realise it'd
I think Wayne's made a bad error of judgment.
The manager reckons 2,000 people bet and won on the pie being eaten.
If any of them were on Sutton's staff, well they're in trouble.
That's it from me, so I'll say goodnight.
And I'll leave you with Wendy Hurrell for a check on the weather.
The man's mother at the start of the week got out the blooms but we will
slightly backtrack as they head to the end of this week. It is turning
quite stormy towards the end of this week. Nothing too much to worry
about at the moment out there. Plenty of cloud and that will keep
things mild as we go through the night. We will have bits and pieces
of rain in the cloud and a noticeable breeze but your ice do
not deceive you. These are the overnight lows. We will do well to
get those out of daytime temperatures. A mild start tomorrow.
Plenty of cloud. You might need your brolly. Unnoticeable breeze but
noticeably mild, temperatures have a chance to get to 13 or 14 degrees.
This is the picture on Thursday. Breezy from the outset and then rain
and the numbers will head up. It really is going to be a gusty enter
the day, particularly up towards the evening rush hour. It calms
the day, particularly up towards the evening rush hour. It calms down on
the Outlook toward the end of the week and then milder again from the
wheel them. More on storm Doris now with Matt Taylor.