WINCHESTER MP Steve Brine has called for a radical overhaul of business rates, highlighting the issues of Alresford.

He took part in a debate on Business Rates in the House of Commons and said it was time to look at a structural’ change and a fundamental review of non-domestic rates in line with the Government’s manifesto commitment.

The Winchester and Chandler’s Ford MP said that he had praised the discretionary rates scheme provided by Government and managed for the benefit of local businesses by Conservative-run Winchester City Council, and the planned introduction of more regular revaluations.

He said: “I have the very pretty market town of Alresford in my constituency including a beautiful independent-run book shop. People increasingly tell me they use the shop to look, use the shop to view, use the shop to try and then go online and buy the books.

“It is time to look at a more structural change, away from just property… to a more transaction based tax which might help book stores like the one I refer to in Alresford and countless other businesses in my constituency.”

Several Alresford shops have recently joined the Winchester Chamber of Commerce which has been lobbying for the change.

They are: D.Barker & Son Limited, East Street; Develop 4 Life, Dover Close; House of Gallet, Broad Street Arcade; Pretty Woman Beauty Salon, East Street; The Mid-Hants Railway, Watercress Line; The Bottom Line Alresford, Roberston Road; Tiffin Tearooms, West Street; Timothy J Gibbons, West Street and Tudor House, Church Street, Ropley.