A COUNCIL leader is to launch a campaign to get the government to levy business rates on online retailers and send some of the cash to local authorities.

Hyndburn's political boss Miles Parkinson believes the measure would create a level playing field with high street shops and provide extra resources for services.

He also wants to win Whitehall permission to extend selective landlord licensing from central Accrington and Church to other towns in the borough.

Cllr Parkinson was speaking after Labour kept control of Hyndburn Council in last week's local elections despite Conservative gains.

On Monday the ruling Labour will choose a replacement for its Cabinet member for Parks and Leisure Ken Moss who lost his Rishton ward to Tory candidate Michael Miller.

Cllr Parkinson said: "Our priorities for Hyndburn are economic growth and creating well-paid jobs as with Frontier Park.

"We want to improve housing, boost our town centres and promote local shops.

"With our MP Graham Jones we will lobby the government to impose business rates on online retailers like Amazon and send some of the cash to councils. We would like the £4million we get in business rates matched from this source.

"High street shops need a level playing field with online retailers and councils like Hyndburn need the extra money for front-line services.

"I would also like to extend selective landlord licensing from Central ward, Peel, Barnfield and Spring Hill in Accrington and in Church to the outer towns of the borough such as Great Harwood, Oswaldtwistle and Rishton. We would need government permission.

"We want to ensure that all tenants in the borough have a house fit to live in."

Borough Conservative group leader Cllr Tony Dobson said: "I have sympathy with Cllr Parkinson about online retailers but think a sales tax would be better for all retailers that physical shops could set against their business rates.

"I am not sure landlord licensing, which is a blunt instrument, is the way to improve the quality of rented housing. It penalises the 80 per cent of good landlords to tackle the 20 per cent who are not good ones. There is plenty of other legislation to deal with the bad ones."

Blackburn with Darwen Council resources boss Cllr Andy Kay said: "Business rates for online retailers is a good idea on the surface but could be very difficult to implement."

Cllr Parkinson said: "The Labour group will comfirm the council's new Cabinet on Monday night. I am not expecting big changes, just a replacement for Ken Moss."