KEIGHLEY Town Council has become the UK's 39th 'fair tax council'.

It has signed up to a declaration which commits towns, cities and districts to "do the right thing" in their own tax affairs – as well as requiring transparency from suppliers, and supporting calls for a tightening of rules to tackle tax avoidance.

Keighley town mayor, Councillor Luke Maunsell, says it's important for all public bodies – including town councils – to "lead by example" and ensure the UK has the fairest possible tax system.

It's estimated that tax avoidance leads to around £17bn in corporation tax receipts being lost annually in the UK, impacting on national and local economies.

Mary Patel, networks manager for the Fair Tax Foundation, says: "We’re delighted to see Keighley Town Council standing up for responsible tax conduct by supporting the Councils for Fair Tax declaration.

"Together with our fair tax councils, we are calling on the Government to change the rules so local authorities and other public bodies can reward supplier businesses that pay tax fairly and transparently."

A poll commissioned by the foundation found that two-thirds of the public agreed the Government and councils should consider a company’s ethics when undertaking procurement.