Author Topic: IF THERE WAS EVER A NEED  (Read 6104 times)

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Offline DORIAN

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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2018, 19:02:21 pm »

Im not knocking the council, having served, they have a moral compass but no political clout, so, all i was asking was a size the town of westbury , need a post office
now i the \\\\\\\french have riots on their hands maybe we should have a a little stance to insist that westbury needs a PO as well as a bank,  or am i naive
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Offline baldy

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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2018, 20:37:29 pm »
One of the key reasons I left the town council earlier this year was because of the way there was not only an overwhelming lack of interest from across the council, but particularly the working group I set up to look at the viability of the town council setting up a town centre PO was itself effectively taken over by councillors who did not want the council to do any such thing anyway.... 

I know Michael was actually one of the few interested in looking at the whole picture and recognised that there is a public need for a town centre PO which might justify some sort of town council support. This main issue for the likes of me and Michael was identifying the actual ongoing cost of the subsidy needed to then weigh up whether that would be justifiable. Afterall, almost every project the town council supports is a type of service to the town which costs money. I can't think of any council project that actually makes a profit or even comes close to breaking even ....

The other key point I wanted to make is about Business Rates because almost everyone who comments on this seems to misunderstand how it is calculated and how it affects businesses and how it is collected.

Business Rates paid are simply [Rental value at the last valuation - called rateable value] x [the national business rates multiplier - approx 0.5 or 50%].  In other words, if a shop's rent payable is about £10,000 pa then the business also pays business rates of about £5,000.

So, business rates simply relate to the rental that the business agreed to pay.  If there is demand from businesses to occupy the shop unit, the strength of the competition drives rent and rates up and down together ..... though this occurs in a juddery way because rent payable often gets reset at rent reviews every 3 or 5 years and business rate revaluations are totally irregular (though the national multiplier moves up and down to smooth out the effect of older rateable values).

When you get lots of shop businesses complaining about a jump up in business rates after new rate revaluations, its because their area has jumped up more in rental value than the average in the country.  They should know full well that rates will follow rent up and down overall.

In reality, rental values in typical suburban and small town High Streets have fallen over the last decade or two and business rates have therefore fallen as well (because the two are closely tied).  It is only the strongest of High Streets in major provincial cities and large towns where rents and therefore business rates have actually risen.

Basically, it is simply untrue that rates are affecting retail businesses because most businesses plan their budgets taking into account how much rent they can afford to offer and this reflects business rates as well. In other words, the rent that businesses offer to pay overall is affected by the knowledge that rates will be paid as well.   So, if rates went up for some political reason (eg. higher multiplier used), it would depress rent over the following few years as rent reviews and lease expiries / renewal negotiations take account of the lower bids from potential occupiers for the premises etc ...

The local council tax or business rates collection authority has no influence on the business rates payable. It obviously sets the council tax rate (and how much council tax residents pay) but it does not set the multiplier that affects the business rates businesses pay because the national multiplier is set every year by the Chancellor.

Sadly, almost every MP that makes a comment about business rates affecting retailers simply proves that they know F*** all about business when they speak. Most clearly are imbeciles and are willing to talk utter nonsense about topics when they know little or nothing at all.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 20:49:24 pm by baldy »
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Offline Michael

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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2018, 16:09:53 pm »
Thank you Russell for this very clear and instructive post, rents and business rate levels are of course one of the major burdens for small businesses and if the high street is to survive they are an issue that need examining.
This is not something that can be resolved at town, or parish level, but a way must be found by government to help businesses in rural towns. It should be recognised that in all high streets, not just Westbury, local businesses are closing and being replaced by charity shops, this cannot be good for the economy.
But any small local business will need the support of a bank or at the least a post office, and this is the very reason that I believe that a post office in Westbury is essential, and why I supported Russell in his endeavours to try to achieve this.
John GL rightly says in his post "use them or lose them", but it is a classic chicken or egg situation, without an active and vibrant town centre, a bank or post office will not be considered viable, but without a bank or post office local businesses will find it more difficult to operate.
This is why I say the Post Office should run as a service to the community and local government should do all in it's power to support, and at a national level the Post Office should be publicly owned and run.