Charity Shop Rate Relief Consultation Response

Below is the text from a letter that I submitted to the Welsh Government’s consultation on charity shop rate relief on 17th December 2012. More information on the policy review can be found here.

 

‘I enclose a letter from Marie Curie, which provides just one example of the contact made with my office on this issue. I have been contacted by multiple organisations and individuals.

I also attended an event hosted by the Charity Retail Association here at the Assembly on this issue on 27th November. At the event, the CRA relayed their concerns that this consultation is not based on solid evidence.

Rate relief for charity shops plays an important part in allowing such organisations to continue trading. My own experience of the Cowbridge Road shopping centre in my constituency of Cardiff West is that such shops bring positive footfall to the area, helping to sustain other businesses that operate there as well.

In the very harsh retail climate, the choice is not between the charity shop and some other commercial organisation; but between the charity shop and premises standing empty.

In my view, the current arrangements seem to be working well. A strong case would be needed if changes were to be proposed.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Drakeford
Assembly Member for Cardiff West’