A TORQUAY businessman is playing a leading role in a campaign for total reform of business rates.
John Doherty is among south west business leaders backing the need for 'root and branch reform'.
South Devon-based accountancy firm Bishop Fleming is campaigning for that change with a national Downing Street e-petition.
In his Autumn Statement the Chancellor made some minor adjustments to business rates, but failed to halt the annual inflation-indexed increase or address the widely hated use of out-dated property valuations to charge business rates.
Mr Doherty, owner of Dot's Pantry in Union Street and a former executive at Tesco, said: "Business rates are completely unfair, based on false property values rather than business performance."
He has studied the business rates for a wide range of businesses in Torquay.
"Argos is valued at £500 per square metre, my 50-covers coffee shop is valued at £427 per square metre, and Primark is valued at £90 per square metre. Two neighbouring businesses, one with a weekly turnover of £25,000 and one with a weekly turnover of £2,000, have the same business rates," said Mr Doherty.
Having lobbied the Prime Minister, Mr Doherty said: "I hope to God someone will listen. Business rates should be linked to sales not to out-dated property values."
South west-based accountants, Bishop Fleming, has launched a national call for the total reform being addressed by Tessa Munt MP with a Downing Street online e-petition at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/57038
THE chief executive of Torbay Town Centres Company has left.
Ian Broadfoot has left to work in his own business with his wife and with former chief executive Lucy Ball.
Mr Broadfoot joined the company in 2010 and oversaw the creation of the Paignton and St Marychurch and Babbacombe BIDS.
The company has appointed a new general manager, Paul Howard, who will start in January.
Barry Buxton, chairman of the Town Centres Company, said: "Paul Howard is joining us as general manager of the Torbay Town Centres Company. He will be responsible for the smooth running of the three BIDs and representing the company at all levels.
"Paul's experience is town management and he has had more than 10 years experience, the last six years as manager of Burton Town Centre in the West Midlands.
"Paul is married with two children and will be relocating to Torbay. We look forward to welcoming him to the area and the company and to working with him."