Yesterday, the communities and local government minister, Sajid Javid, made a Commons statement on business rates. He defended the changes in rateable values being introduced on 1 April. These rises have led to protests across the country, including here in Ludlow. Our town has featured in the national media several times in recent weeks. The government must grasp the opportunity to address the “squeeze in the middle”. This squeeeze threatens the future of independent shops and pubs, here in Ludlow and across the country.