Labour will unveil its five-point plan to "breathe new life" into Britain's high streets on a visit to the North East tomorrow.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper will unveil their party’s plan to "reverse the Tories’ 14 years of decline on Britain’s high streets" during a visit to Tees Valley.

The Party claims that under the Conservatives, there are 3,710 fewer fruit and veg shops, butchers, and newsagents since 2010, while an additional 385 towns have seen their last bank branch close, or announce that they will be closing imminently.

Labour has also highlighted record levels of shoplifting - up more than 30 per cent in a single year - and persistently high levels of antisocial behaviour, with a third of the public witnessing or experiencing it in their local area over the past 12 months. 

Ms Rayner said: “Our town and city centres are an untapped strength of Britain’s economy. Yet across the country, the paint is peeling, the pavements are cracking, and people just aren’t getting what they want when they visit town.

“Tory chaos has cost the country dearly, and every region has paid the price. Labour will use the full force of government to get behind our high streets and spark the decade of national renewal that communities deserve.”

In its five-point plan, Labour has said that it will tackle anti-social behaviour by putting 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs on the street, rolling out banking hubs, and replacing business rates with a new system of business property taxation which rebalances the burden and levels the playing field between high streets and online giants. 

Meanwhile, it has also pledged to stamp out late payments and make sure more money gets to high street firms and revamp empty shops, pubs and community spaces; giving communities a new ‘right to buy’ community assets to revamp high streets and end the 'blight of empty premises'. 

Ms Reeves added: "Labour will breathe new life into our high streets. We’ll create the conditions to get retailers thriving again by replacing business rates, opening hundreds of banking hubs across the country and stamping out late payments to get them paid on time. No one expects a return to the past, but Labour’s plan can get our town centres booming again by tackling these problems that are holding them back.” 

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “The existing unfair system of business rates penalises our community pubs to the tune of £500 million a year and a long-term solution to this problem is badly needed, allowing our businesses the ability to invest in people and places.”

Ms Cooper added: “Crime and anti-social behaviour are blighting our once-bustling town and city centres, yet neighbourhood policing in town centres has been heavily cut – that is the legacy of 14 years of Conservative government.

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“Labour will take back our high streets with more bobbies on the beat, and we’ll boost patrols with our Community Policing Guarantee, to crack down on shoplifters and keep the public safe.”

However, Treasury minister Bim Afolami said Labour “don’t have a plan” to pay for the proposals.

He said: “That will mean just like every Labour government before, higher taxes on working families and back to square one. What’s more, the Labour-led Welsh Government is hiking up business rates: it has the highest business rates in Great Britain, and from April 2024 it has slashed business rate relief for the hospitality sector.

“Only Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives have a plan which is working. Cutting the taxes of hardworking families, supporting businesses with the biggest ever tax cut for small businesses and halving inflation. We should stick to that plan and not go back to square one with Labour."