What are the most critical issues facing UK property occupiers?
This week, we look at what is happening behind the scenes in government on three key issues for the property sector: the return to the office, future of retail and net zero targets. Anna speaks to Andrew Smith, head of public affairs at Weber Shandwick to find out how he is navigating these long term policy agendas and how they are impacting property occupiers.
Andrew stresses that the return to work will be crucial for the government in terms of revitalising city centres, but also points to the importance of balancing the interests of the hospitality sector with other business priorities as “al fresco” dining and temporary low traffic neighbourhoods are phased out to allow traffic back in.
He also points to the review of business rates coming forward in the autumn and a building momentum to change the system, with strong political and public support to tax online retailers. With the business rates holiday coming to an end, he says there’s pressure for the government to be more radical.
Finally, he also spells out what property occupiers will be watching in the upcoming heat and buildings strategy, from who will be picking up the bill to how far the government will depart from fossil fuel gas to heat homes.