DUP group call for ‘zero rates increase’

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COLERAINE DUP councillors are to follow the theme set down at their party Conference in November by proposing a 0% increase in rates for 2014.

A statement issued on behalf of the councillors group which met at the Garvagh office of DUP MLA Adrian McQuillan on Saturday morning said: “In line with party policy and taking into account the current economic climate, DUP Councillors will be meeting with the Chief Executive this week to outline our position on this year’s rates.

“Although there has been marginal growth in the UK, that has not been reflected in the Borough of Coleraine with many businesses reporting less than favourable returns from the Christmas and New Year Sales.

“Everywhere we look in the borough there are business under threat.

“It is our intention to propose no increase in rates this year and to lobby our colleagues in Stormont to follow suit when setting the Regional Rate.

“However, we must emphasis that there be no further cuts in front line services.

Savings will have to be made to ensure a zero rate and that is what we intend to point out to the Chief Executive that further savings need be be made with no loss of front-line services or staff”, the statement concluded.