Campaign continues for change in business rates
MORE than 50 businesses from across North Wexford were represented at a second meeting at The Amber Springs Hotel to address commercial rates across the region.
Retailers are calling for harmonised commercial rates to be introduced across the County Wexford, as they feel that North Wexford are being singled out unfairly, paying a third more than those in New Ross town in commercial rates. The meeting set up a working group to highlight how a cut in commercial rates would help establish and maintain businesses and pledged to work constructively with local councillors and the council executive to achieve this.
Cllr Malcolm Byrne, who organised the meeting along with a number of local businesspeople, said that the meetings had been beneficial to all concerned and business owners and councillors are hoping to work together for the benefit of the Gorey District.
'The meeting was very constructive and all of the local councillors want to work together with businesses to help maintain and create employment,' he said.
Sinn Fein's Cllr Fionntan O Suilleabhain was in agreement.
'I am in total agreement with the argument not just for equalisation throughout the districts but also for a review in valuations,' he said. 'Gorey Districts rate needs to be equalised downwards with the other three districts asap – not prolonged over ten years.'
Those in attendance said that they would put forward a positive case with a focus simply on reducing commercial rates to the same level across the county.
Newly appointed president of Gorey Chamber Keith Groarke welcomed the level of co-operation between businesses and councillors on the issue. 'We are very pleased to see an increased level of activity between the business sector and local councillors over the past few weeks,' he said.
'Gorey Chamber has been campaigning at a local and national level over the past number of years to ensure that the recent changes in the local authority structure will see every business treated as an equal from 2015 onwards.'
It will be September before Wexford County Council knows its likely levels of income and expenditure for next year and at that stage, councillors will make decisions as to the council's budget for 2015.