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Labour MP Calls for Student Landlords to Contribute to Public Services

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

A Bristol MP has called for private student accommodation developers to fill the gap left by students' exemption from council tax.

Thangam Debbonaire, Labour MP for Bristol West, has urged ministers to change the rules so that Bristol City Council can better fund the services that an increasing number of students are using.

The move has been backed by the city's mayor, Marvin Rees and is also being discussed by Liverpool City Council.

Commenting on the idea, Ms Debbonaire, said: "In Bristol, university expansion has significantly increased the student numbers, putting pressure right now on stretched local services which student accommodation providers contribute almost nothing to the cost."

Students do not pay council tax, which has been offset in the past by a revenue support grant given to each council by the government.

However, there are plans to phase the grant out, leading to Bristol City Council and city MPs to suggest student accommodation developers should contribute to public services.

Minister for Local Government, Marcus Jones, told Ms Debbonaire there are no plans to change the rules.

Both Bristol University and the University of the West of England plan to increase their student numbers over the coming years, with the University of Bristol looking to expand by 25% by 2022.