Anne Main replies to Save St Albans Pubs letter following Budget business rates measures

PUBLISHED: 12:56 05 November 2018

St Albans MP Anne Main speaking in the House of Commons. Picture:

St Albans MP Anne Main speaking in the House of Commons. Picture:


St Albans’ MP has not confirmed whether she will lobby for tweaks to business rate measures in last week’s Budget.

Save St Albans Pubs organised a meeting with Anne Main for the day after Monday’s Budget, when a business rate discount for pubs with a rateable value under £51k was announced.

However, she was unable to attend, prompting the group to pen an open letter, which read: “The ‘sticking plaster’ from the Chancellor to give a third off rates was a positive step in the right direction.

“However, we need to highlight that this will not help the 50 per cent of St Albans pubs most affected by your party’s business rate reform implemented three years ago.

“For example, it does not seem equitable that the rate relief under the new budget for those with a ratable value of £51,000 was not extended to all pubs to help ensure there is a level playing field.

“We would like to see you address this with the Chancellor and the Business Secretary as a matter of urgency.”

Mrs Main was unable to attend as she was at a debate on plastics waste and was later appealing for a debate on the Rohingya Muslim crisis.

She has now written a reply to Save St Albans Pubs.

It reads: “I appreciate six representatives from St Albans attended a mass lobby day in parliament on behalf of CAMRA and I am sorry I was unable to drop in and meet you.

“Under normal circumstances I would of course have attended, however that was not possible.

“As you know from my involvement in the past, I am a firm supporter of pubs and as an MP, you must appreciate there are numerous things I must always give time to.

“That day, I was asked to attend a round-table discussion on the effect of plastic waste in the environment.

“Following this, I was asked to appear before the Backbench Business Committee, accompanied by Rushanara Ali, where we made the case to the committee for an urgent debate on the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar.

“It is extremely unfortunate that circumstances that day meant I could not make the meeting. I am happy to meet with you in the near future if you would like to arrange this with my office.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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