Traders angry over rates hike

PUBLISHED: 18:01 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 25 May 2010

ANGRY traders say they are going to appeal against a large hike in their business rates.

ANGRY traders say they are going to appeal against a large hike in their business rates.

Some of those who have outlets in Worle High Street spoke out at a meeting of the traders' association this month.

They say they are incensed by the 25 per cent increase that central government has added on to their business rates for the next financial year.

At the meeting, business owners said they were appalled about the extra cost to them at such a tough time in the economic climate.

The rates are set by the Valuations Office Agency (VOA) and collected by North Somerset Council.

The Government then redistributes the takings to local authorities.

Simon Wotton, of Birnbeck Insurance Services in the High Street, had a building created at the back of his existing business in 2008.

Because of the recession he has found it hard to lease the outlet and is paying thousands for the empty space.

Now he says he will have to pay thousands more from April, something he is dead against doing.

Mr Wotton said: "I wish I had never had it built now.

"I'm fuming with the VOA and am using a specialist firm to appeal against the 25 per cent hike."

The problem has arisen because the revaluations were carried out in 2008, when the property market was still buoyant, but since then values have decreased.

Worle High Street Traders Association has agreed to write a joint appeal to the VOA next month.

Bob Abbott who has just set up business South West Interiors and Fittings (Swift Ltd) outlet in the High Street recently with his business partners is also set to appeal against the increase.

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