Real market rents exposed

Sir,

I write re: Mexborough Market – Mayor insists rents are fair ( Times, May 19, 2011).

The indoor market traders at Mexborough feel they must defend themselves against Mayor Davies’s comments regarding the new market rents the council are wanting to impose.

The table supplied shows the current rent per week that the stallholders are currently paying in rent, set against the new payment required by DMBC, starting in October 2013, after being phased in over two years.

We also have to pay business rates ranging from £300-£1,500 annually (some stalls are eligible for the small business relief at 50 per cent discount on their rates.

This is a Government incentive to aid small businesses. However, not all the stalls are eligible and pay the full amount. We also pay to DMBC separate electric bills, ranging from £8-£190 per month (dependent on the stall).

The figures in the table are just payments made to DMBC. Obviously, there are a range of other costs relating to running a business: insurance (council insist we have that), wages, NI, accountants etc.

We appreciate we have not had a rent increase for 15 years and will accept a reasonable increase.

However, unlike Doncaster Market we have always paid separate business rates – which they have only just introduced at Doncaster Market. And not all of the traders in Doncaster Market accepted the rent increases “and got on with it”. Some traders took legal action, and won.

Others represented by NMTF Doncaster branch had solicitors letters ignored by the Markets Department and ran out of time to challenge the rent increases.

We urge the whole council to reconsider their commitment to keep Mexborough town centre as a viable shopping centre.

Philip Toon,

Chairman, National Market Traders Federation, Mexborough branch