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20 NEWS


An indoor market in a West Midlands town faces a major overhaul in a bid to reverse the decline in traders and attract more shoppers.


Councillors in West Bromwich say the 1970s market building looks outdated next to more recent developments such as the town’s New Square Shopping Centre.


And while the market is


still profitable, the authority is concerned by the rapid


Consultation on market’s future Tax Gap remains low


acceleration in the loss of traders over the last two years. Amy Harhoff, Director of Regeneration and Growth, said in a report: “There are many factors that have contributed to the decline in trader numbers including changes in shopping habits, new retail developments close to the market and a facility that has had little investment in the physical infrastructure, so the market is somewhat dated and not


able to provide an adequate modern facility for market traders. “The redevelopment of the


indoor market is expected to act as a regeneration catalyst, driving footfall and increasing market engagement to drive values within the town centre and stimulate the further redevelopment of adjacent property, by the private sector.”


Subject to approval, a consultation will be carried


out during the next few months, and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council will seek to draw up a detailed business plan to transform the indoor market and improve that part of West Bromwich town centre. Cabinet member, Cllr Bob


The Tax Gap for 2017/2018 is 5.6 percent, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) confirmed recently.


This means that HMRC collected 94.4 percent of all the tax due under the law in 2017/2018. Overall, the Tax Gap has fallen from 7.2 percent since 2005/2006. The Tax Gap is the difference between the amount of tax that should, in theory, be paid to HMRC, and what is actually paid. Jesse Norman MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The UK’s low tax gap underlines both how the vast majority of people are paying the correct amount of tax, and how effective HM Revenue and Customs has been in its efforts to clamp down on tax evasion and avoidance.”


According to HMRC the majority of customers want to get their tax right, but figures show that too many are still finding this hard, with avoidable mistakes costing the Exchequer over £9.9bn a year.


£3 billion of this is attributable to VAT alone, which underlines the importance of the action HMRC has been taking with Making Tax Digital, which launched in April this year for VAT- registered businesses. HMRC is continuing to build a healthy tax system by reshaping its organisation around customer needs rather than the individual taxes they pay, and by pursuing the ambition to become one of the world’s most digitally-advanced tax authorities.


Lloyd, told local media: “The West Bromwich indoor market has many loyal customers who have grown up with the market since it opened in the early 1970s, as well as a wide range of goods to attract customers, but despite this vacant stalls have been increasing. “In recent times shopping habits have changed, and despite cutting stallholders’ fees to help existing traders and encourage new ones, we recognise that we need to do something more radical to revitalise the market and regenerate this area of the town.


“We need to build a modern and more attractive market facility which includes other businesses and residential apartments, and we need to explore potential investment and partners to work with us to redevelop it.


“This consultation provides us with an excellent opportunity to get people’s


MARKET TRADER, JULY 19 - AUGUST 1, 2019


views and push ahead with this exciting development for West Bromwich.” Following the


consultation, a report outlining the preferred option for redevelopment will be brought back to the cabinet within 12 months.


Cllr Lloyd added that the coun cil had also submitted an expression of interest for funding from the Future High Streets Fund. This would support the pur- chase and dem- olition of sites, preparing land for development and improving public areas in West Bromwich town centre, as part of its wider regeneration plans. Re be c c a Jenkins, chair


to meet modern shoppers’ expectations. I look forward to the opportunity for businesses to give their views in the forthcoming consultation.


West Bromwich town centre looks set for major improvements (Photo: Tony Hisgett)


of the West Bromwich Business Improvement District, said in a statement: “I am pleased to see that the council is committed to the ongoing redevelopment and improvement of West Bromwich town centre. “The indoor market needs to be brought up to date


“I also welcome the


council’s efforts to access funding from the Future High Streets Fund so as to support a more strategic development of the town centre.”


If successful the council will be asked to submit a funding bid later in the year.


The Chuckle Brothers Fifty years of To Me… To You


To Me… To You! That’s the Chuckle


Brothers celebrating fifty years on stage! Surely not! Oh yes they are!


This is their story, written by Paul with a little “help” from Barry in his own special way. The Chuckle Brothers have been filling theatres and pulling in huge


viewing figures for their television shows for a few years now, but it was not always like that.


If you have ever laughed with Paul and Barry, then Fifty years of To Me…


To You is something you simply cannot miss.


Personally signed copies of the Chuckles brothers books can be obtained by emailing terry.ford@worldsfair.co.uk or by contacting him on 0161 683 8034.


Order online @ www.worldsfair.co.uk/chucklebrothers or phone our sales team on 0161 683 8000


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