Local MP Bill Wiggin has spoken in the House of Commons to support local petrol stations affected by huge increases in business rates imposed on them following the Government’s revaluation of business rates. During a debate on Petrol Filling Stations called by neighbouring MP Philip Dunne, Bill Wiggin raised concerns about the impact the new rates would have on petrol stations in rural areas, where more people were dependent on car use. Bill said:

“Petrol stations are threatened due to huge increased in the business rates imposed on them by the Government. In rural areas like Herefordshire residents and businesses need to have petrol stations close to them so they can fill up their vehicles and any losses will be felt badly.”

“Under Labour, we have already lost some of our rural Post Offices and pubs. The threat to petrol stations by higher tax is a further attack on our rural way of life. The sharp increase in business rates also flies in the face of Labour’s claims to be helping businesses during the recession.”

Notes to editors:

Bill Wiggin spoke during an Adjournment Debate called by Ludlow MP Philip Dunne yesterday (9 March 2010). Bill’s comments below, the full Debate can be found online at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmhansrd/cm100309/debtext/100309-0022.htm#1003103000002

9 Mar 2010 : Column 272

Petrol Filling Stations

Bill Wiggin (Leominster) (Con):

I congratulate my hon. Friend [Philip Dunne] on leading on this subject, which is of exceptional importance to my constituents, particularly David Griffiths, who has seen his business rates go from just over £4,500 to £26,000. My hon. Friend will know that having a car in a rural area is not a luxury; it is a necessity. If our constituents cannot get any petrol, how on earth will they be able to go about their daily lives? I hope that he will get some sensible answers from the Minister, because this is going to be a disaster for rural communities.