High Street firms hit out at government business rates

Businesses in Kings Langley have grouped together to slam business rate changes by the government that they fear could affect the High Street.

Friday, 28th April 2017, 8:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:52 pm
Jeff Folkins and Claire Carpentier outside Dalling and Co in Kings Langley

Jeff Folkins, who owns Dalling & Co in the High Street, is one of several company owners to sign a petition calling on the government to review the way they charge business rates.

New changes within the last year have seen Dalling & Co’s rates increase across their two stores – a delicatessen and a wine merchant – from £15,000 to £21,000.

Mr Folkins feels this is unfair as a number of other businesses in the High Street have seen their rates removed entirely down to zero.

Mr Folkins said: “The government will tell you that they are helping small businesses because some are now not paying any business rates.

“But what they’re doing is taking £6,000 out of our pockets and giving it to the business across the road.

“What I find frustrating is that we are having to spend hours fighting this, but secondly that we are in a position where we have nowhere else to turn.

“Our local council can’t do anything because they only collect on behalf of the government. It’s not just Kings Langley it’s all over the country.”

Mick Framp, who owns Total Flooring in the High Street, added: “Ours is going up from £6,000 to £10,000.

“We can swallow ours, but I know there’s some shops on the High Street that can’t, and I think we might see a couple of shops closing. That will have a big impact on the High Street.”

The petition calling for the government to reform their scheme – which is based on square metreage of the store instead of turnover – currently stands at 9,500 signatures.