Clifton-Brown Highlights Another Rural Service Hit by Labour
Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown spoke in Parliament yesterday to highlight the impact that the Governments Business Rates Revaluation, due to come into force on 1 April 2010, will have on Petrol Stations in rural areas.
The Debate was called by Philip Dunne MP (Con: Ludlow) to explain to the Government how the revaluation will hit petrol stations nationwide, in particular through the fact that since 2005, the Governments have used turnover as the primary criterion for calculating rateable value, a process Mr Clifton-Brown feels punishes success.  However, the MP, through meetings and representations from local businesses, believes that this decision will impact rural areas in particular. 
During the debate Mr Clifton-Brown commented: “…petrol stations are unique in that their business rates are calculated not only on the basis of rental value, but on top of that, on assessments of their turnover. That is one reason why they are facing such huge increases. Petrol stations are the only property class that I know of that is assessed in that way……It is grossly unfair on small petrol stations, particularly in rural areas, which are closing as a result. That will mean that there is even less competition, which will mean that prices for our rural constituents will rise.”
The rates revaluation for petrol stations is on top of the nationwide decision by the Government to impose a rates revaluation on all businesses using a methodology introduced in April 2008, at the height of the property boom, on which to base the revaluation snapshot will hit certain business sectors disproportionately, without conducting any Impact Assessment.  With the introduction of these rates due prior to the General Election, the Mr Clifton-Brown and the Conservatives have repeatedly called on the Government to reconsider its decision fearing it will threaten our fragile recovery from the recession as more businesses will be forced to close.

Source: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP Cotswolds