Local Politicians Backing Town Centres

A Carmarthenshire MP has backed a motion in Westminster calling on the UK government to address the concerning problem of empty shops in town centres. The problem that has been evident in areas such as Ammanford, Carmarthen and Llanelli has been a visual representation of how the recession has hit local businesses in the county. Jonathan Edwards has supported the motion which calls for a range of options to be considered, such as a reduction in tax for refurbishment works as well as a freeze on business rates, in order to revitalise our town centres and help the local economy recover.

Jonathan Edwards MP said:

“The closure of local shops has been a big concern throughout the county. Not only is it worrying that so many local businesses are being allowed to go to the wall it creates a negative image of our town centres. I’m very keen to support the local economy and get people actively choosing to invest in local services again. This motion puts forward some very interesting and worthwhile considerations such as reduction in tax and freezing business rates. There are other more practical options can also be looked at such as the cost of parking and allowing the use of A-boards, especially in areas that are free of traffic.”

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:

“Local town centres are the hub of our communities and are hugely important, not only to the economic recovery, but socially as well. It is difficult to believe that you will get a better or more personal service than through using your local shops. Revitalising town centres are something that Jonathan and I feel passionately about and we will certainly pursing any potential proposal with the council to try and help local businesses.”


Nodiadau / Notes:

The motion reads:

That this House notes with grave concern the increase in the number of empty shops in traditional town and neighbourhood centres; calls on the Government as a matter of urgency to consider a range of options to halt further closures and assist in the restoration to retail use of closed premises; specifically urges that value added tax for refurbishment works on retail premises should be reduced from 15 per cent. to five per cent., that business rates for retail premises should be frozen and that upward rent review clauses which automatically allow rents to rise should be scrapped; and further urges that planning, financial and parking policies which discriminate in favour of out-of-town shopping centres should be reviewed so that there is a level playing field with traditional town centres and neighbourhood shopping centres.

Discussion Area - Submit a comment

Your reply will be moderated and not appear immediately. You can prepare your text in a word processor before pasting it into the box, but formatting such as bold and colour will not appear.