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BALLYCASTLE : 615% rates increase unsustainable

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A family run business in Ballycastle has seen its rates rise from £3,000 in 2014 to over £11,600 in the Causeway Coast and Glens Super Council. The owners are now preparing for a further 10% increase which they claim will devastate them.

The Connolly/Carey family have owned and operated the Anzac Bar in the middle of the seaside town for 50 years. The business has incurred additional rates related pressures that bring the totals to £21,500.

The proprietor, Mr Ryan Connolly said,

“We were looking forward to the 50th anniversary with staff and regulars but now feel we could be celebrating the milestone by closing the business instead.

“Due to reval 2020, rates in the premises are set to rise substantially. Other businesses locally are suffering similarly.

“The rates increase does not include the 10% that Council are planning to put on for the financial year 2020/21. Including water rates, refuge collection and recycling our totals will be over £21,500. It represents a 615% increase since 2014. This kind of increase is simply unsustainable.

Mr Connolly said other increases would follow. The sky tv bill for example is linked to the rateable value.

“We are now planning to remove Sky from the premises. Due to that move we are likely to lose customers.

“We simply appeal to our councillors not to inflict this on our businesses which are becoming – increasingly more unsustainable.

“We have heard calls for an external audit and investigation of the Council finances. The business community here in Ballycastle and right across the Borough are asking why there hasn’t been one. They want to know who is preventing an external audit”.

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