Mark Menzies speaks to Fylde traders about business rate review

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FYLDE Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Mark Menzies spent the morning doing his shopping at Lytham Market and on the town’s busy high street today.

Mr Menzies, who is standing for re-election on May 7, spoke to stallholders and shopkeepers about the importance of shopping locally, something he learned during a long career in retail before he entered Parliament at the last election.

Mr Menzies said: “Shopping locally is so important if we are to keep our high streets thriving in the face of unprecedented competition from online retailers.

“I know one area some have been struggling with is business rates which can make it difficult for high street stores trying to compete with the internet, which can sometimes offer lower prices because websites do not have the overheads that a shop would have.

“That is why the Conservatives have committed to conducting a major review into business rates by the end of 2015 to ensure that from 2017 they properly reflect the structure of our modern economy and the onset of online shopping.

“That will hopefully allow traders to operate on a level playing field with web-based retailers, which is something I will be pushing for during the consultation if re-elected.

“Many of us like nothing more than walking up and down our local high streets and popping into the wide range of varied shops, whether for everyday groceries or for those one off treats we all enjoy so much. I am sure we would all be devastated if our favourite stores closed down, put out of business because they cannot compete with the internet.

“Small businesses like those shops are the lifeblood of our communities and economy and it is vital we protect them.”

 

PICTURE: Mark Menzies with a stallholder at Lytham Market

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