Borough Councillor Simon Werner is calling on the council to change the council’s failing Business Rate Relief Scheme to make it easier for new startup shops to access the relief.
Since December last year when the council started a Business Rate Scheme, no business at all has made use of the scheme.
Simon Werner says, “We need to be doing far more to encourage new shops to the town centre. With the number of empty shops continuing to increase even as the economy is beginning to recover, the council needs to be doing far more.”
There is currently a Government Scheme that offers a 50% reduction in Business Rates, and the council scheme offers a further 25% on top of the Government Scheme. However both the Government and the Council’s Scheme is too limited and makes it very difficult for shops to make use of it.
“The council needs to set up a far more flexible scheme which will suit the unique problems of our town centres and which will actually be useful for local businesses to start up new shops in our town centre.”
Lib Dems think that the council should be looking at offering new independent shops a “No Business Rates for a year” Relief Scheme.
Simon Werner says, “We need to be working really hard to bring new independent shops into Maidenhead and try to reverse the increasing number of vacant shops.”
The council report that set up the failing scheme :
Number of Vacent premises is up according to council report : http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/minsys3.nsf/2afdb4dab4d0de668025765b005eaf12/1c6b5bfb0b24940480257ccb0051f095/$FILE/meetings_140821_cab_impr_full.pdf Appendix A page IPMR 22