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West Suffolk Council delays parking charge increases to support businesses during coronavirus crisis




West Suffolk Council has delayed a planned increase in car parking charges to help communities and businesses during the coronavirus crisis.

The car parking hikes have been put back by three months as part of a range of measures by the authority to support businesses.

The council has kept its markets open, worked with traders to relax some planning enforcement conditions, under national guidance, to help deliveries to be made and set up a web page to help businesses with advice.

Market day in Bury St Edmunds very quiet with shoppers staying away to avoid coronavirus. Picture by Mark Westley. (31881425)
Market day in Bury St Edmunds very quiet with shoppers staying away to avoid coronavirus. Picture by Mark Westley. (31881425)

The Government announced on March 11 measures to help businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or below which are being introduced in the next weeks.

In West Suffolk this will see an extra £3.3million in business relief for 489 properties and an extra £155,000 in rate relief for 63 pubs.

The council says it is and will be contacting businesses to ask what their main issues are and how the authority can help further, which will be used to lobby Government.

Market day in Bury St Edmunds very quiet with shoppers staying away to avoid coronavirus. Picture by Mark Westley. (31881417)
Market day in Bury St Edmunds very quiet with shoppers staying away to avoid coronavirus. Picture by Mark Westley. (31881417)

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: "This is an extraordinary time and we are doing everything we can to support and protect the health of our communities and businesses who are facing unprecedented challenges and pressure.

"We already, of course, work closely with our businesses and are directly helping hundreds of them, saving millions of pounds, through rate relief.

"Additional measures, which we are putting in place, are intended to help our traders and communities further and make sure our local firms are in the best possible position to both face immediate challenges and their future recovery.

Market day in Bury St Edmunds very quiet with shoppers staying away to avoid coronavirus. Picture by Mark Westley. (31881419)
Market day in Bury St Edmunds very quiet with shoppers staying away to avoid coronavirus. Picture by Mark Westley. (31881419)

"Many of our businesses have already shown impressive innovation and flexibility and I would urge residents, where possible and while observing health guidance, to support our local traders.

"We are doing our bit in West Suffolk including a dedicated team and web page to give advice; keeping markets open; helping deliveries; implementing rate relief; delaying planned car parking changes and implementing periods of free parking.

"There is more to come, including further clear guidance on delivering actions set out by the Government which we are keeping under constant review, and, as new measures come forward we will implement them as soon as possible."

The council thanked businesses which have offered to help communities and are being directed to the economic development team email economic.development@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Visit www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business


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