A bit of discretion..

BOB Neill MP from Pickles’s office writes to Camden Council leader Councillor Nash Ali today over Town Hall plans to take The People’s Supermarket – that affectionately regarded shop in Holborn where neighbours work shifts at the till for discounts on their food shopping rather than salaries – to court over unpaid business rates. Attempts to get the supermarket listed for discretionary rate relief with Camden’s finance officers have been blocked. There are meanies at work, say the shop’s many supporters.

Mr Neill, who writes in the final paragraph that he wants his letter in the public domain, says the People’s Supermarket has a broad public interest and that Camden could apply discretion here. The shop in Lamb’s Conduit Street has gained increased support after recently featuring in a smart Channel 4 documentary.

That letter in full:


3 Comments on A bit of discretion..

  1. Cllr.Theo Blackwell // March 3, 2011 at 1:12 am //


    As per council question some months ago, Camden does not give DRR to the Church of Scientology. Westminster Council, however, has done so – and I think still does. Neill could’ve checked his facts if he was acting in good faith, but he sent this letter and released this to the press at the same time without any verification – that smacks of using the People’s Supermarket as a political football, no?

    Camden was left, by the previous Tory-led administration, an overheated DRR bill of double – they chose not to reform the criteria in the year before the election, and the bill went up from £250k to £500k, eating in to direct grants we give to local groups.

    Very few London Tory council actually do give DRR, and certainly not to the level we do (nor do they fund the voluntary sector to our amount) – but I ask should we give DRR on a whim (i.e.just because the PM, who probably hadn’t heard of it before last week, does a press launch there?) or should we have a better policy?

    Presumably Bob Neill gets his headline and no one checks the facts.

    Says it all about Bob Neill and the shame of Tory spin against local government. Again.

  2. Even by the standards of this government it is rather an abuse of DCLG headed paper to write to a council to lobby for DRR for a grocer, on apparently no evidence other than that the government is keen on said grocer.

  3. Albert Shanker // February 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm //

    One year on – another DCLG headed paper abuse.

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