A BOOST for independent retailers could be on the cards as Braintree Council sets it budget.

The council is proposing to implement a new retail relief, announced by central government in the Autumn Budget 2018.

It could mean high street businesses, with a rateable value under £51,000, benefit from a on third discount on business rates.

The plans will be discussed at a meeting of the cabinet on February 11 and again at a full council meeting on February 25.

Porposals to increase the amount of council tax which people with homes that have been empty for two years or more will have to pay will also be discussed.

Council leader Graham Butland said: "These two proposals are important for our residents and businesses.

"We’re pleased to be able to offer high street independent retailers this reduction in the amount of business rates they pay.

"This will mean shops could save on average £2,000.

"We’re also keen to encourage those with empty homes to get them back in to use.

"Homes sitting empty benefit no one - we’d much rather see them back in use for the benefit of our residents."