Mayor to lobby Wilson for rate relief for city business

LONDONDERRY is leading a delegation of local retailers to Stormont today (Thursday. January 31) to lobby Finance Minister Sammy Wilson MLA for rates relief for local businesses.

“Many of these businesses are experiencing great difficulties in the current challenging and difficult economic climate,” said the Mayor.

“They feel more needs to be done to assist them in the form of rates relief. It is hoped that our meeting with the Minister today will provide us with an opportunity to tell him at first hand the issues we are facing and the level of government support that is needed to assist,” he explained.

Other issues to be raised by the delegation include the establishment of the timescales for re-valuations, the fast tracking of re-valuation process to target key geographic areas and the review of the criteria for arriving at net annual valuations.

The delegation will also encourage the Minister to introduce short term relief measures to enable new business starts and offer a range of support services to help businesses in rates arrears.

The Mayor added: “We will be asking the Minister to consider other interventions that are aimed at promoting new business development through targeting areas such as vacant premises and rates relief etc.

“The meeting provides us with a unique forum to lobby the Minister directly and impress upon him the urgent need for Government intervention and support that will help retailers to overcome their current difficulties and move forward for the future.”