MP continues fight against business rate rise in Southwold

Therese Coffey

Therese Coffey - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has led a small delegation of MPs to meet the Chancellor of Exchequer to press the case on behalf of independent retailers in two coastal towns against proposed business rate rises due to be enforced this April.

Under the business rate revaluation, three quarters of businesses nationally will either see rates fall or remain at the same level - however the average rate rise in Southwold High Street is set to be 177pc as well as a 70pc increase in Aldeburgh High Street

Also in attendance, at the meeting held this week with Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, were Philip Dunne and Sarah Wollaston MPs for similarly affected towns, Ludlow and Salcombe.

Dr Coffey said: 'I pressed the case on behalf of our local small businesses. I put across that both Southwold and Aldeburgh have a large presence of independent traders, which have made them stand out as different to the chain-only high streets.

'Recognising the success of these places, national retailers have started to move in which has driven rental values upwards and subsequently rateable values.

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'I asked him to consider the role of the mixed high street with tailored support. Without that, these thriving high streets could be much more limited in their offering to residents and tourists.'

She added: 'The Chancellor is now very aware of the particular issue in Southwold and Aldeburgh and is considering my representation. I am pleased, as the Prime Minister has highlighted in Prime Minister's Questions, that the case for helping small independent traders facing very high increases is being carefully considered.'

Related story: Community leaders to continue fight against proposed business rates rise in Southwold

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