The Bargain Box Debate – Rother Must Explain Themselves

Customers Rally to Support Bargain Box.

A family who work all the hours God made to keep their business running and their customers happy, seemed to have been singled out by Rother District Council.

The worry and upset caused to John, Avril and David of Bargain Box over backdated claims for rates, relating to an air conditioning system that has been operating in the shop for years, have put their backs so far against the wall that they are almost ready to ‘throw in the towel’ and have put a Closing Down sign in their window.

Their main bone of contention is  that, save for Rye Library, it appears there are no other business in Rye charged for air conditioning! We know of many that have air conditioning, but everyone checked on a national data base comes up as not being subjected to an increased rate demand in relation to Air Conditioning.

It is like being victimised John explained – Why have Rother District Council singled out Bargain Box? We have been here 20 years and always paid our way.

John told me that Rye M.P. Amber Rudd has been very helpful and is doing her best to get the problem sorted out.

A petition was started on the internet social media asking for support.

10,000 people have read the original Rye’s Own bulletin

The response to the story on the Ryes Own News Facebook Page has been phenomenal. These are just a few points made in the early comments

Chris Simpson This is an outrage! What are Rother District Council doing? Bargain Box is a huge asset to Rye. You can purchase all sorts of things in there which has been so useful since we do not have Woolworth anymore! We cannot let this happen to John and his family who are so lovely. So come on Amber Rudd pull your finger out and do something!
David Bookless  If true then this is a disgrace. Rother should be encouraging this kind of business which is so useful for local people unlike many other outlets. Not much point in having a local council that fails to support the town. No wonder Rother have such a bad name here among people of all political persuasions.

SueFred Clark  John, Avril and David, work so hard. Lovely family, great business, Rye wouldn’t be the same without them. They’re knocking out the hearts of Ryers. This is disgraceful.

Jim Hollands (Rye’s Own)  One of the hardest working families in Rye. They have supported “Rye’s Own” through thick and thin. They are part of Rye.

Amanda Moran  I can’t believe it. I come down to Rye every three or four months and always go in there I will be so sad to see it go

Robert Wall  Has this tax been implemented in Bexhill ? I bet not.

Mark Playford  Absolutely disgusting, the best shop in Rye, run by a hard working friendly family. SORT IT OUT

Loretta Buckman  So sad will really miss this shop, always use it, always so nice. when you go in there. Nothing too much trouble

Joanna Kemp Surely its time for Rye to come together and form a petition and fight this. This is outrageous.

Trevor Bryant  Maybe their plan is to force them out with these taxes so they can put more flats there.

Lauren Simpson  Petition?

Debbie Coules It’s a shame need to get a petition. I always use that shop, lovely family in there and they sell everything!

Sarah Winston Cooper  Would it help to write some letters…?

Jackie Ansell  Totally agree with all the above. Have only lived in Rye a few months, but the heart and soul of Rye is the local people and their businesses, including Bargain Box.  Hope something can be done to save a worthy business.

Loretta Buckman  Wonder if they got a petition up we could all sign it when we go in there

Martin Blincow
Martin Blincow Before we all get in a lather. What is the tax being imposed? Or is it a fine for non compliance with a regulation. Important we know as we need to support appropriately businesses like Bargain Box.
Bernard Clark I don’t think us here in Rye stand a chance against a council like RDC. They can come up with plans such as this,without having to explain to us the people they serve,why this backdoor tax has suddenly appeared!

Martin Blincow Looking on the website there is no air conditioning tax – there are only regulations regarding air conditioners. It would be good to understand the detail as RDC Officers can only implement regulations that central government have designed. We need to support Bargain Box, but in order to win we all need to understand the problem.
Jim Hollands No it’s not an Air Conditioning Tax but a tax on air conditioning that is assessed in business rates. It is optional for a council to impose it but if they do choose to charge it they must charge it on all businesses. It is listed on John’s as an addition of £1,200 on rateable value which results in an added charge of £600 per year. This has been back-dated by three years Rother say. The added amount on rateable value puts him over the small business allowance so it seems they will be asking for the three years he has been allowed for that to be returned.

Martin Blincow So this is RDC implementing policy to maximise their income locally, as central government remove their funding. As Amber Rudd is in the Cabinet, it is appropriate for her to be made aware of the unintended consequences of central government policies.

Jim Hollands The point here seems to be why John has been assessed and why Rye Library is the only other party listed in Rye. There are many other businesses using Air Conditioning . Are they to be assessed or is this some kind of victimisation?

John Tolhurst  Yes but the more we stand up and shame our own District Councillors, the more chance we will get of them crawling out of the woodwork, and explaining why they have ignored the plight of a well run family business.

Bernard Clark The thing what bothers me is the fact that, if they bring in a tax like this,out of the blue how can they backdate it? Surely if it should have been paid all those years, and has not then it is their mistake!
Chris Simpson  I would certainly sign a petition.

Joanna Kemp Sounds to me that they want to push them out to put someone or something else into that shop or am I just thinking bad of those in power?!

Lesley Taylor  This shop has served Rye well over the years and will be missed as much as Woolworths, if not more. Where will we go the rest of the town is wine bars and gift shops?
Sofia Donoghue I was shocked when I heard this, John and Avril are an integral part of this community and the shop is a necessity for us locals…a disgrace.
Bernard Clark It is so important that we can have a good and open debate,and I feel it does us all good to express sometimes our problems here in Rye,caused mainly it seems by the frustration in the way our town is being let down by RDC.  I don’t think us here in Rye stand a chance against a council like RDC. They can come up with plans such as this, without having to explain to us the people they serve, why this backdoor tax has suddenly appeared!  It seems to be their strategy to dissapear,and see no need to explain to us as to why a seemingly stupid tax needs to be introduced. The only way we will get any answers, is to get something like the BBCs South East news to ask the question as to why, it’s the only way you will hopefully see these so called councillors answer to the people of Rye!

Rye’s Own Bulletin Tuesday 12 January 2016

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