Petition for fairer business rates is signed by hundreds

More than 300 people have signed a petition calling for lower business rates to allow shops in and around Sudbury to prosper.

Owners and managers of independent businesses in the town and Long Melford have hit out in recent months about the cost of rates, which they believe are unfairly high and are resulting in shop closures.

David Thompson, who runs three businesses in Gainsborough Street, Sudbury, set up a petition to highlight the issue last month and has gathered more than 300 signatures.

“We have had a lot of support and we probably could have quadrupled that number,” said Mr Thompson, whose business portfolio includes the The Salt House Bistro and The Movie Shop.

A meeting on the issue of business rates – chaired by MP Tim Yeo – was due to be held next month at the town hall, but has now been put back until May.

“The meeting is very much still on and this means we have extra time to get more backing,” said Mr Thompson.