Talking shop at the very top

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Our #SOSMorecambe campaign is gathering momentum in the highest corridors of power.

We are speaking to local shopkeepers to find out what support they need to survive and then we will lobby Parliament and the local authorities to help bring about positive changes in the town.

David Morris MP, who backs our campaign, is keen to raise some of these issues in Westminster. So The Visitor has asked Mr Morris to find answers to these questions:

*What progress is being made on bringing in 
controlled free parking schemes in Morecambe, as was recommended by Mary Portas in her Government-backed analysis of town centres?

*Ms Portas also suggested high street deregulation to help free up the ‘red tape’ faced by shopkeepers. What progress is being made?

*She also said the Secretary of State should give ‘exceptional sign off’ for out-of-town supermarket developments where there are already too many supermarkets in a town – which many believe is the case in Morecambe. Will this initiative be coming in?

*Businesses say they need rate relief for longer periods than just a year in order to get themselves established. What incentives are there for new start-up businesses in excess of 12 months?

We will be asking further questions as our campaign moves forward.

Meanwhile Mr Morris has encouraged small businesses in our area to apply for the Government’s Small Business Rate Relief scheme.

Eligible ratepayers will receive small business rate relief at 100% on properties up to £6,000 (rather than 50%) and a tapering relief from 100% to 0% for properties up to £12,000 in rateable value for that period. The discount applies if you only occupy one property and it has a rateable value below £12,000. The scheme runs until March 2013.