Boris Johnson pledges to put the ‘heart’ back into local communities

Boris Johnson has pledged to pump hundreds of millions of pounds into towns and villages that have been “overlooked and left behind”.

The Prime Minister announced a package of measures, including cutting business rates for shops, cinemas and pubs, designed to help places which have not always benefited from economic growth.

Under the plans, the average corner shop will get a £1,400 cut in their business rates from the extension in the retail discount.

The Tories said up to half a million businesses will benefit, with the discount extended to all cinemas and music venues.

The party has pledged to save pubs and post offices, promising to back community groups who want to buy their local pubs and post offices with a £150 million fund and a nine month ban on sale to other bidders.

One of the plans is to re-connect towns and villages to the rail network, with a £500 million fund to restore lines and stations removed by the 1960s Beeching Report.

There are also plans to invest in cycling and walking with the aim of making it easier for people to cycle and walk around their local areas.

Mr Johnson said: “For too long, too many towns and villages across Britain have been overlooked and left behind.

“When the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, many communities felt their voices had been heard for the first time in decades and their lives would improve.

“We will invest in these communities and help people put the heart back into the places they call home.

“We need to get Brexit done so that we can unleash the potential of all our towns, cities and villages.

“We will be able to save our high streets, keep pubs and post offices open and re-connect places to the rail network half a century after they were cut off.”

Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s shadow communities secretary, said: “The Tories are destroying our high streets and towns.

“A decade of vicious cuts to the services that people in our communities rely on, has taken 60p in every £1 from council budgets.

“There is a clear choice in this election on December 12: more of the same with Boris Johnson’s Tories or real change and investment under Labour.”

Read Full Story