TRADERS in Llanelli market are enduring one of their toughest ever periods as Wales’ lockdown stretches on. Now, Llanelli’s Member of the Senedd, Lee Waters, is supporting their call for a rent reduction from Carmarthenshire County Council.
A rent holiday and a 25% rent reduction were offered in two respective quarters of 2020, but on Christmas day, traders were billed for a full payment of rent. This has caused significant anxiety and stress for traders unsure whether they can continue to cover running costs, let alone recoup for lost trade.
At a meeting with several traders, Lee Waters said: “The Council have agreed to meet later this month to consider whether further rent reductions are needed for traders in Llanelli. The message I’ve had loud and clear today is that this is far too late in the day, given that they were asked for a full rent payment on 25th December.”
“Traders benefitted from rent reductions and cancellations during the first lockdowns, but aren’t doing so this time round, despite the financial challenge being the same. This disparity is incredibly confusing and stressful for traders. That’s why I’ve written to Carmarthenshire Council asking them to look again and use every available mechanism to help our town get through this rough period.”
A spokesperson for the market traders group said: “In the first part of the pandemic the council offered us a much needed free quarter. Now, after a hard year of restrictions and a huge downturn in revenue, we find it very difficult to understand why they can’t offer the same support once again.”