Speaking from central St Albans pub the Kings Arms, Farron reiterated the Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge for a full review of the way business rates are calculated.
“The system is broken and we need to have a full review, which looks at how to tax people with the ability to pay it,” Farron told a group of more than a dozen publicans gathered in the pub.
A ‘strong voice’
Licensee at the Kings Arms Sean Hughes said he was delighted Farron visited his pub for campaigning, saying the Liberal Democrats were a “strong voice” on pub rights.
“They [the publicans] seemed very pleased with what Tim had to say. What we heard was people thanking him for coming down and supporting pubs,” Hughes added.
Rates petition curtailed
Farron’s appearance in support of local Liberal Democrat candidate Daisy Cooper was at a meeting of the Save St Albans Pubs group.
The Save St Albans Pubs group was formed to campaign for rate relief after its research concluded that the average St Albans pub saw a 72% increase in business rates in April 2017.
An initial petition calling for rates relief attracted 4,421 signatures, but was curtailed for the general election. Hughes said the group will relaunch the petition after the election with a view of campaigning for wider reform nationally of a system that is “just not right”.