Kent MP to quiz ministers over business rates concerns

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Business rates: MP Charlie Elphicke (left) will be taking concerns to ministers
Business rates: MP Charlie Elphicke (left) will be taking concerns to ministers

Related tags: Town

The MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke, said he would speak to ministers about the issue of soaring business rates after a group of publicans from his constituency wrote to him to highlight their concerns.

Responding to the letter from the group of nine pubs,​ MP Charlie Elphicke said it “made some important proposals that I’m putting to ministers for them to consider”.

The letter, written by pub owner Peter Killin and representing landlords in and around the village of St Margaret's At Cliffe, Kent, said “with this latest rate rise, I felt enough is enough”.

Killin said that the current proposed business rates rise for pubs should not be implemented until a new system of rating has been applied to the pub industry.

Another suggestion was that all small town and village establishments should have their rating assessed in a similar manner to village stores and other small businesses.

Vital role of pubs

Elphicke said he recognised the “vital role” pubs play in the community, and thought it was “important” for the Government to give back to the traditional English pub.

“Pubs offer far more than just a place to drink – they play a vital community role and must be given the opportunity to thrive," he said. “That’s why it’s so important that our Government should back the traditional British pub," he said.

Killin’s letter said: “As you are aware, success of pubs and restaurants in small towns and villages are vital for the sense of community that can be gained from them.

“If there is no financial help forthcoming from Government, many more of these businesses will be lost forever, and with that loss, village and rural town life becomes diminished.”

Related topics: Legislation

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