City station could be funded under business rates loan

September 22, 2010 10:24 AM
Cllr Sian Reid

Sian Reid

Cambridge's long-awaited Chesterton railway station could be funded under a government plan to allow local authorities to borrow against their business rates.

The plan announced by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg during his speech at the Lib Dem Autumn Conference yesterday (September 20), would allow councils to raise the money they needed for infrastructure.

It has been welcomed by Cambridge Liberal Democrats who believe it signals the way to a new financial freedom and the chance to fund improvements in the city.

Cambridge City Council Leader, Sian Reid said: "This creates a real opportunity for Cambridge to raise the money it needs to move forward.

"Projects like Chesterton railway station, which have been at the mercy of government funding decisions, now have every chance of being built with money borrowed against the business rates the city is generating.

"This gives us the chance to take control locally and fund projects that will bring real benefit to the people of Cambridge."

Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, Nichola Harrison said: "This is extremely welcome news. It gives power to local authorities to raise the money they need without waiting for handouts from Whitehall.

"Localism was at the heart of the Lib Dems' election pledges and they have delivered that promise with this decision. People who really understand their own towns and cities throughout the country now have the power to raise money to improve them."

Nick Clegg said during his speech that it puts every city in the UK in the driving seat.

"Local people, local power, local change," he said.

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