PRN: House of Lords Advisor Slams Council's Treatment of Shropshire Family

Devon-based Dr John Potter is a member of the advisory board to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship and Microbusiness, and has been championing the use of Redbrook Lodge in Whitchurch as an adult education centre.

Persone Rodney Skelland, Mark Layder, John Potter, Ellen, May
Luoghi Inghilterra, Stoke-On-Trent, Wrexham, Little Stanmore
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29/mag/2012 18.29.35 PR Newswire Turismo Contatta l'autore

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House of Lords Advisor Slams Council's Treatment of Shropshire Family

 
[29-May-2012]
 

STOKE-ON-TRENT, England, May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

A key parliamentary advisor has described Wrexham Borough Council as 'out of tune with reality' over their row with a family about the rateable value of their home.

Devon-based Dr John Potter is a member of the advisory board to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship and Microbusiness, and has been championing the use of Redbrook Lodge in Whitchurch as an adult education centre.

However, owner Mark Layder is embroiled in a legal fight with Wrexham Borough Council over their decision to class Redbrook as a hotel, rather than an educational establishment which would fall into a lower category for rates.

The row has been going on since Mr Layder converted Redbrook into his family home in 2004, a year after moving in with wife Ellen, and is costing the family £10000 a year.

They have stopped making payments and the council responded by calling in bailiffs and threatening to repossess the property.

Professor Potter believes the impasse is having a major detrimental impact on the local economy.

He said: "Redbrook Lodge is a magnificent building and could be a major attraction if it was allowed to become an education centre for business owners.

"The ridiculous situation caused by the valuers and Wrexham Borough Council is stopping those business owners coming into the area and spending money with Whitchurch businesses.

"It could be resolved very quickly by changing the rateable value but the council officers are out of tune with reality.

"These people are supposed to serve us, not put obstacles in the way.

"It's also flying in the face of Government policy which is designed to encourage people to set up their own businesses and use educational establishments like these."

Dr Potter's sentiments are shared by local councillor Rodney Skelland.

Cllr Skelland knows the building, which falls into his Bronington ward, well and frequented Redbrook regularly when it was a hotel, before the Layders converted it into their family home.

He said: "It's very unfortunate it's got to this stage, it should've been resolved years ago.

"I'll do everything I can to help."

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