We are cutting our own throat

Latest letters from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest letters from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Another independent shop is forced to close after 45 years trading due to economic reasons.

Many of us in Great Cornard have been using the Dairy Spar shop regularly for a great deal of that time.

I am sure that all of us have found the staff, several of them being of long service, not to be bettered anywhere.

The women in the post office are always cheerful and will help and willingly advise. We wish them all the best for the future.

I am pleased that the well-respected Byham family are able to continue with their other businesses as we still have their milkman deliver to our home doorstep twice a week.

I am certain that the opening of Sainsbury’s about a mile away was the coup de gráce and sealed their fate.

I am sure that the Byham family and many others will be interested to know that their shop and all of ours in the town centre are effectively “cutting our own throats” as we are forced to subsidise the business rates of Sainsbury’s and the other giants.

Would you believe that there are two separate systems of rating evaluation which means that Sainsbury’s is not classed as a shop?

It is rated under the same system as that used for a warehouse and is, in fact, rated using the same criteria as that of Byhams’ dairy buildings in Ballingdon Street, which are correctly classed as a storage depot.

The Dairy Spar shop and our in-town shops have a totally different system and are, of course, rated as retail shops.

This means we pay up 10 times more per square metre in rates than Sainsbury’s.

This is nothing short of the Government stealing money from us and giving it to big business.

Over many years, I have told many MPs about this and they have replied exposing their ignorance.

The only person, in our area, that is doing his best to support town centre businesses happens to be the MP for Colchester, Sir Bob Russell.

Please write to your MP and ask them to lobby Eric Pickles to level the playing field.

Ian Berry

Kestrel Bookshop