St Andrews Councillor calls for grants for licensed premises
Conservative Councillor Dominic Nolan has called for a fresh look at the grants available for pubs, restaurants and visitor attractions.
Councillor Nolan explained, “Grants of £25,000 are available for businesses with a rateable value under £51,000”
“The problem is that licensed premises are assessed for rates in a different way. They are assessed not on their turnover like other businesses but on their theoretical potential turnover. This results in their rateable value being much higher than comparable premises and means that they don’t qualify for a grant.”
“Unless this anomaly is addressed urgently towns like St Andrews and Dunfermline which used to have a thriving tourist trade and night-time economies are going to be particularly badly hit.”
“Without this support many pubs and restaurants and licensed visitor attractions will go out of business and as the lock-down eases they simply won’t be re-opening”
Homebuyers left in limbo are desperate for construction sites to reopen
Desperate members of the public are pleading for construction sites to reopen as they wait, without any end in sight, for their new homes to be completed.
The Scottish Government still hasn’t confirmed a date that construction can begin again in Scotland causing 6,000 would-be homeowners unimaginable frustration, inconvenience and cost.
For many anxiously waiting, the work to be completed on their new homes is extremely minor.
Getting increasingly frustrated First Time Buyers Ryan Barr (26) and Jodie Wardrop (25) are one young couple caught up in lockdown housing limbo. Both have been living with their respective parents as they saved up for the deposit they put down on their new home.
Their home only needs to have the kitchen fitted but they have no idea when the work will restart.
Ryan, a physiotherapist for Kilmarnock FC, says:
“We were really excited about moving in to our first home together so the situation is pretty frustrating when you consider how little work needs to be done to finish off the property. I’d fit the kitchen myself if I could.
“Of course, safety is the first priority and we completely understood and accepted there would be a delay when lockdown was first announced, but the longer it goes on, the more difficult it is to come to terms with, especially when you see building sites in England opening back up. Our parents have been brilliant but we don’t want to impose on them any longer. We just want to move in and get on with our lives.”
Professional couple Lyndsay, 39, and Edward Hailes, 35, are also waiting for their new 2-bedroomed flat in Pollockshields, Glasgow, to be finished.
They are forking out £1500 per month for the Airbnb flat they are renting.
IT worker Lyndsay explains:
“Each month we have to extend we are essentially down to one wage as the £1500 more or less wipes one full wage. We are both still lucky enough to be working from ‘home’ but we are working on top of each other. We have been out of our home since January as one of the conditions on reserving a new build is that you must put your current home up for sale.
“The financial and emotional stress of the past 6 months has been a great strain on us. The responses we are getting have been generic and usually point us towards avenues we have already explained have been unsuccessful. It is frustrating as it is clear no attention is being paid to the details being provided.”
Graham Simpson, Scottish Conservative shadow local government and communities secretary said:
“There is absolutely no reason that Scottish housebuilding cannot get back up and running providing social distancing is in place.
“This unnecessary delay is costing families thousands and is heaping undue stress and anxiety on them.
“Families are waiting to begin their lives in their new homes while watching construction reopening elsewhere in the UK.
“The Scottish Government must provide a simple date for construction to reopen and give families some certainty.”