Guest column: We don’t set the rents and rates for businesses in the town

Coun Simon Greaves
Coun Simon Greaves

I’d like to start this week by thanking the children of Norbridge Primary School Choir who joined Canon Spicer from the Priory, myself and the Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire to mark Commonwealth Day on Monday.

The choir was excellent and a real credit to Norbridge school and Worksop on the whole.

This week, we prosecuted a Worksop man for breaching an anti-social behaviour injunction 20 times.

He was given a suspended sentence and left in no doubt that any more breaches would see him in prison.

Nobody should have to suffer from anti-social behaviour and if you have an issue, please report it to our ASB team.

Last week we had the bad news that Burger King, in the Priory Centre, had shut down.

Whenever these stories hit the press, people take to social media and ask why the council sets the rents and rates so high and believe that we are pricing businesses out of the town.

Firstly, the council does not set the rents in the Priory Centre or town centre and has no control or input over this.

We don’t set business rates either as these are calculated nationally by the Valuation Office, which is a government agency.

We all want to see businesses stay in Worksop and it’s extremely disappointing when shops close or relocate.

With the current centre manager leaving I will be inviting their replacement to join the town centre task force and explore how we can work together to attract retailers back to our town.

At the top of town we have a real opportunity for regeneration with Heritage Lottery Fund money and we have now appointed a project officer to deliver the £2.3 million scheme.

We have also been working with architects to develop plans for the Middleton’s site on Bridge Street.

This is a real positive for Worksop and I look forward to being able to give more updates as things progress.