Monmouthshire County Council has given a cautious welcome to the news that the Welsh Government is to introduce a £10m fund to help those businesses severely affected by the recently-announced business rates hike.

 Councillor Bob Greenland, Deputy Leader of the Council commented:

 “Some of the proposed business rate increases are so astronomic they will close many of our best known retailers and hospitality businesses if implemented.  So the news is good but we cannot be sure we are out of the woods until we see the details of the scheme.

 “It still remains a mystery why Monmouthshire seems to have been targeted, but because it has been, I would expect a good slice of the £10m to come our way.

 “This change in the Welsh Government stance would not have come about without the combined help of business leaders, politicians and council officers all working together.  May I thank everyone for their efforts.”

 Monmouthshire County Council agreed at its meeting on Thursday 1st December to urge the Welsh Government to postpone draft proposals for massive hikes in the county’s draft business revaluations and to allow time for a thorough review of the methodology and results of the revaluation.  This came after Councillor Greenland, officers and a local chamber of commerce representative met with senior officials of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) at County Hall to discuss the matter.  Recently-proposed rateable values are based on the rental value of properties at 1st April 2015, reflecting changes in the property market across the country since the last revaluation came into force in 2010 based on 2008 rental values.