A city council has vowed to fight on in its bid to tax supermarket giants and support independent retailers, despite the Government ruling that its ‘Tesco tax’ plans could not be introduced.

Council leaders in Derby have pledged to do everything they can to find a way to save local high streets, saying they will “leave no stone unturned”.

The council had submitted a proposal to the Department for Communities & Local Government asking to be given the power to levy additional business rates of up to 8.5% on large supermarkets and other stores with a rateable value of more than £500,000.

The council’s Tesco tax, as it has been dubbed, would have raised up to £1.65m to fund local initiatives and support local businesses.

But communities minister Eric Pickles poured cold water on the proposal made under the Sustainable Communities Act.

He said: “Your proposal is sadly an all-too predict-able siren call from some parts of local government – namely, the solution to every policy issue seems to be how to impose new taxes. This is a lazy way of thinking.”

He suggested that councils could look at planning, parking, licensing, street markets and other areas to boost local high streets and independent retailers.

However, council leader Ranjit Banwait hit back and said: “Despite the letter from the Secretary of State, our campaign continues. We cannot sit back and allow disproportionate cuts to local government budgets to harm our high streets.

“This is a further example of the Government intent on killing off local government. We will leave no stone unturned in our campaign to find solutions to protect local services.”

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