BRIDPORT Town Council is backing moves to persuade the government to allow town and parish councils to keep a percentage of business rates.

Coun David Tett said: “It is imperative for the benefit of the local economic growth that a percentage of the business rate remain with the town and parish councils.”

Councillor Gillian Summers said there were two issues at stake.

She said town and parish councils should have a share of the business rates but it might come down to either a share of that or a share of money sent from central government to the district council.

Coun Sarah Williams said that precept money was being cut year on year anyway and she supported the recommendation to apply for a share of business rate income.

Coun David Rickard said: “We need to fight to get money we should be getting from government.

“We should not accept a one or the other situation.

“When the Sustainable Communities Act was first launched in Bridport one of the main things people wanted to introduce was that business rates would remain in the town to enable the town council to provide services.”

Councillor Martin Ray said the main reason people were interested in the Sustainable Communities Act was because of the issue of keeping business rates.

Councillor Maggie Ray added: “If the money is available to Bridport we can spend it a lot more wisely than other councils or government.”