Amanda Milling, Member of Parliament for Cannock Chase, has presented a petition to Cllr George Adamson, Labour Leader of Cannock Chase District Council, calling on the council to abandon its new anti-business charges.
The Labour-led Cannock Chase District Council started charging high street businesses in Cannock, Hednesford and Rugeley for displaying A-boards or having tables and chairs outside their business.
The Cannock Chase MP launched a petition against the charges that has attracted thousands of signatures.
Amanda Milling MP said: “The response to the petition has been incredible, I have collected several thousand signatures in a few weeks. Over 1,800 people have signed the petition online and several thousand people have signed a paper petition. The petition also gained coverage on local TV news that saw the Labour Councillors defending their charges. It’s clear that these charges are anti-small business and are in danger of undermining the fabric and energy of our town centres. At this crucial time for the high street, we need to support our town centre businesses, not burden them with additional costs. The widespread public interest has shown just how unpopular these charges are.”
When the charges were introduced the MP’s office was flooded with angry calls over the Labour-led District Council decision to bring in new charges against town centre businesses. The charges could see some small independent cafes having to pay as much as £500 a year to have tables and chairs outside their shop, as well as other independent traders having to take their displays and signs indoors.
Amanda Milling MP added: “I hope this petition inspires the Labour Leadership to scrap the charges and publicly side with local independent businesses. If Labour Councillors continue to treat small independent businesses as a cash machine, pretty soon we won’t have a town centre left.“.