Rate cut call for Derry traders hit by roadworks
Derry City Council has called for rates relief to be offered to traders affected by roadworks in the city.
It comes amid concern that businesses are being hit hard by ongoing roadworks along the Buncrana Road which have forced city-bound traffic to take alternative routes into town.
SDLP councillor Jimmy Carr has said that those affected by the ongoing roadworks, particularly traders who have experienced a drop-off in business, should be afforded rates relief.
Councillor Carr said: “These roadworks have been continuing for some considerable time and the powers-that-be are not considering for a moment the impact this disruption is having on local businesses.
“As someone who works in one of the outlets in the area, I know that traders warned of a drop in profits as a result of roadworks — but the impact has been even greater than anticipated, with customers staying away in their droves rather than negotiate the alterations to the road.” Mr Carr has proposed that affected businesses be given some form of relief “until such time as the works are completed and normality returns”.
A spokeswoman for Derry City Council explained that it is “only responsible for the setting of the district rate while the Department of Finance and Personnel, a central Government department, strikes the regional rate to help fund services such as education, housing, personal social services, water and sewerage.”
She added: “Any proposals for rates relief would be a matter for the department directly.
“However, Derry City Council would be supportive of any initiative that would assist local businesses experiencing difficulties.”
There was no-one immediately available from the Department of Finance and Personnel to comment.