THE local Labour Party is urging Bromsgrove District Council to do more for small and medium size businesses.
It says the town’s hospitality sector has missed out on business rates relief because of the council’s failure to interpret government guidelines correctly.
Labour leader, Coun Peter McDonald, said: “Our council must do more to help small businesses by making it clear they can apply for a Hardship Fund to help them along.
“It could also work with small businesses on payment of rates to allow them to hold on to their work force.”
The Conservative-controlled council has also been invited to sit down with Labour to share ideas on how to prevent people from losing their livelihoods.
Coun McDonald added: “A great number of people are employed in the district by small to medium size businesses.
“We all need to do something to stop an avalanche of redundancies.”
Former hospitality worker and Labour councillor Harrison Rone-Clarke, said: “I know many other young people working within the sector are at risk of redundancy.
“We need to ensure that we protect jobs within Bromsgrove by committing to supporting hospitality.”
Council leader Karen May told the Standard she was disappointed Labour had decided to ‘undermine the hard work’ of the authority’s officers.
She said: “They have pulled out all the stops to promote the availability of reliefs and grants to businesses in Bromsgrove.
“This council has granted £11m of expanded retail discount to 504 qualifying businesses.
“In addition £13.7m of grants were paid to small businesses in Bromsgrove, £5.9m grants were paid to businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors and £1m paid to businesses not supported in the government’s initial grant schemes.”
Coun May added that no councillor has raised concerns with her about government guidance not being interpreted correctly.
“Therefore I would urge my fellow councillors to pull together to fill the local headlines with information on safety measures which must be adhered to help save lives in our district, rather than politicking in the public domain.”