HC Deb 05 May 1998 vol 311 c322W
Mr. Livsey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to reverse the trend of rural shop closures. [40134]

Angela Eagle

Under the Local Government and Rating Act 1997, as of 1 April 1998 the sole general store and the sole post office in a rural settlement of 3,000 people or fewer are entitled to 50 per cent. mandatory relief, subject to a rateable value limit of £5,000. Local authorities may top this relief up to 100 per cent. if they wish.

In addition, the Rural Development Commission operates a Village Shop Development Scheme which provides grants to help rural shopkeepers maintain and wherever possible, improve the performance of village shops in settlements of less than 3,000.

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