Tag: economy

What is the future for our county? The big plan debate. Ludlow, 30 November 2017

The Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee (LJC) is to hold a special meeting on 30 November to discuss Shropshire Council’s draft local plan. This sets out ambitious policies to expand housing and employment across the county. Ludlow councillor Andy Boddington is chairman of the LJC, says: “This opportunity to debate our ideas about the future of the county. Shropshire Council’s new plans aim for economic growth and building nearly 1,500 homes a year across the county. Much of this will be in the north and east of the county but we also need to work out what is best for the more rural areas, including Ludlow.”

After effective negotiations and some successful appeals, the overall business rates bill for Ludlow has gone down. The town had been facing above average increases after the revaluation of properties last year. It is still facing above average increases but more than seventy businesses have had their rates bills reduced since the increases were announced.[1] One in nine Ludlow businesses will see a reduction in rateable value and the changes have moved three local businesses out of the business rate regime altogether. The reduction in rateable values for those businesses that pay rates under the current rules amounts to £120,000. That’s a 10.4% reduction and good news for local companies and traders.

Next Wednesday, the council cabinet is expected to agree a much higher rate of growth in housing and employment land across the county. The government says we need to build 1,270 new homes a year. Shropshire Council wants to build 1,440 dwellings every year for the next 20 years. Nearly 60% of people and organisations that responded to a consultation earlier this year wanted a lower level of growth. But the council wants the business rates from higher employment growth, so it says more housing is needed.

Our fear is that Ludlow independent shops will fold, says my letter in today’s Times

The Times has run a series of articles highlighting the harm that rises in rateable values and business rates will cause rural businesses. Yesterday, the newspaper had a first page headline: “Punitive business rates threaten rural way of life.” I am sure there were a lot of responses and four of us were lucky enough to have our letters published in today’s edition. My letter, as you might expect, concentrated on the impact on business rates hikes in Ludlow. I said “Our fear is that these independent shops will fold and will be replaced by the chain retailers”:

Ludlow Nut Company to move to Foldgate Lane

The Ludlow Nut Company is one of Ludlow’s many success stories. It is now planning to move from the Eco Park. The company was set up by Helen and Bob Graham in 2004. It’s gone from strength to strength and is outgrowing its Eco Park premises. An application has been submitted for a new unit on the vacant plot on the Foldgate Lane retail area, between Pets at Home and the Hagley Place Care Home.

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