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Liberal Party NEC Statement - The Closure of High Street Chains
The Liberal Party notes the continued closure of high street shopping chains, most recently Mothercare, selected branches of Debenhams and HMV as well as the department store chain Beales now entering administration.

The loss of high street retailers has a direct effect on local employment, reduced business rates income to councils and leave many urban centres in a derelict state.

A combination of changing shopping habits, online competition, increased business rates and perceived high rental costs continue to impose a heavy burden on conventional business.

Although many businesses are siting high rentals charges as an issue in itself, it should be noted these simply reflected market rates and should not be seen in isolation. Landlord are themselves businesses and lose rental income when business cease trading.

The party urgently calls upon the government to direct its efforts towards revitalising the nations highstreets with reform to the business rates system, and a level playing field for bricks and motor business regarding online competition.

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