Senedd debate on our Welsh High Street plans
Welsh Conservatives will lead a Senedd debate on measures to rejuvenate high streets in Wales.
Assembly Members will call for the urgent implementation of a number of key actions aimed at supporting small businesses and boosting footfall.
The debate follows the release of recent statistics which concluded that Wales’ town vacancy rate - at 15.6 per cent - was by far the highest in the country.
Tomorrow’s motion calls on the National Assembly for Wales to:
1. Regret that recent Local Data Company statistics put Wales’ town vacancy rate at 15.6 per cent, by far the highest in the UK
2. Regret the Welsh Government's persistent failure to promote high streets and town centres, help small businesses and ensure job creation
3. Calls on the Welsh Government to seriously consider the proposals outlined in the Welsh Conservative documents ‘A Vision for the Welsh High Street’ and ‘Invest Wales’ which would help SMEs and regenerate our high streets.
In 2012, Welsh Conservatives launched an innovative ‘Vision for the High Street’. It is available here:www.welshconservatives.com/policy
A Welsh Conservative government would:
• Scrap rates for businesses valued up to £12k and taper for those valued up to £15k
• Work with councils to assist the development of more free parking schemes
• Create a Welsh High Street Charter, enabling local authorities to share best practice
• Introduce teams of local people to develop inclusive community-led regeneration initiatives
• Promote the benefits of Town Centre Managers in each local authority
• Ensure greater planning guidance from the Welsh Government to reflect the changing nature of the high street
In January 2013, Welsh Conservatives called for the establishment of Invest Wales, a network of regional investment banks embedded in local communities to lend to small businesses and provide advice and support.
The proposals would create six local banks operating under the Invest Wales board, working in conjunction with existing retail banks.
The full proposals can be found at www.welshconservatives.com/policy
70 leading Welsh businesses and chambers of commerce have jointly signed a letter to Labour’s First Minister, calling on him to scrap rates for businesses valued up to £12,000.
The letter is available here: http://www.welshconservatives.com/news/welsh-businesses-call-business-rate-relief-extension
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Business, William Graham AM, said:
“It’s more than clear that Labour’s plan for our high streets and town centres simply isn’t working. We need new and innovative measures that put both small businesses and local communities at the top of the agenda.
“Business rates reform, simplified planning, free parking; these are just some of the detailed proposals within a Welsh Conservative high street strategy launched three years ago.
“Our shop vacancy rate is entirely unacceptable. We cannot sit back and watch more hardworking retailers shut their doors for good.
“A Welsh Conservative government would boost promotion of business improvement districts and implement our plans to increase footfall and ensure local retailers have all possible levels of support.”