WORCESTER'S MP has welcomed calls for a reform of the business rates system.

Robin Walker was speaking after the publication of a report by the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee, to which he contributed.

It concluded that the existing system of business rates is no longer fit for purpose.

“I have long argued that our system of business rates is out of date and in need of reform," said Mr Walker.

"I am very proud of Worcester’s thriving High Street and its wide variety of independent shops.

"I want to see reform of business rates to help them thrive in the twenty first century and this report will hopefully represent a step forward for that cause.”

In light of the recommendation, Mr Walker spoke to local businesses at the Guildhall in Worcester as well as addressing Worcester City Council and members of Worcester BID.

“For our nation of shopkeepers, supporting the High Street is key," he said.

"Retail sustains literally millions of jobs nationally and thousands in Worcester and our inquiry showed that these numbers are increasing, not falling.

"There are clear challenges for the sector in terms of changing technology and customer behaviour but those challenges represent enormous opportunities as well."