A new approach to rates policies is urgently needed for Leitrim businesses says Independent candidate Yvonne Hollidge

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Deputy Thomas Pringle was guest speaker at Yvonne Hollidge's campaign launch

Yvonne Hollidge with Deputy Thomas Pringle and Michael McManus

Independent candidate, Yvonne Hollidge has pointed out that, as our small, independent retail sector continues to struggle, a new approach to rates policies is urgently needed.

When talking to many local businesses, Ms Hollidge has heard complaints of multiple rate hikes over the year without additional services; rises they increasingly struggle to absorb into their costs.

"Independent retail outlets have closed doors leaving vacant premises across our towns and villages. A modern and common-sense approach would be to initiate a fairer system linked either to turnover or footfall," she said.

"Alternatively, we could re-classify certain businesses. For example, our bookshops bring learning and culture but struggle to compete against on-line giants.

"To counteract this, we could re-classify bookshops as part of our heritage and culture, permitting a reduced rate to be applied and so ensure that our bookshops continue to exist in the future.

"Sensible policy changes, combined with an integrated and flexible approach to town planning, would demonstrate that we value our local existing businesses and that we understand that our towns need them in order to offer business diversity, growth and not decline and, by attracting new businesses, would lead to an increased council income," said the Independent candidate.