Mallow Chamber has welcomed assurances this week that local traders will not face steep business rate hikes when the Town Council is abolished next June. Chamber officers met council officials to discuss concerns about the business rates, and were assured that they will rise gradually to the county level over ten years, so there will be no sharp shock for businesses.

Speaking after the meeting, at which Moira Murrell, Cork County Divisional Manager, Tom Stritch, Director of Services, and Liz Donovan, Town Clerk, were present, Chamber President Mary Kelly said a number of issues had been raised as well as rates, such as pay parking, development contributions, the future of Mallow Castle and the Christmas lights. “The pay parking is a topic of contention. While the system was designed to improve parking flow around the town, it has also been seen by some to have had a negative effect on business,” she said. And on rates, she had this to say: “As varied rates operate throughout the county, this is one issue that will be closely examined by Cork County Council as Mallow enters the transition phase [to a new municipal council].”

The Chamber President welcomed news that the county council intends to appoint a coordinator in the coming months to examine ways to use Mallow Castle for various projects and events, such as the Racing Home for Easter Festival which earlier this year held events in the castle grounds.

The council officials also gave a commitment that Mallow’s Christmas lights, which cost about €15,000 each year, will continue to be co-funded by Cork County Council.

“The meeting was over-whelmingly positive, and we feel confident our concerns will be addres-sed,” concluded Ms Kelly.