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Iziís Bar, Witney

West Oxfordshire District Council is sorry to hear that Iziís Bar in Witney is closing, but strongly refutes the statement that this is due to the Council doubling business rates. The Council has had no involvement in the closure of this business.

The District Council collects business rates, but does not set the amount that is paid. This is done by the Valuation Office, a government agency. The Business Rating list is updated every five years to reflect changes in market conditions and regional variations but otherwise goes up in line with inflation.

Cllr Barry Norton, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council explains: ďTo blame West Oxfordshire District Council for the closure of Iziís Bar is unfair and unacceptable.

ďThe District Council does not set business rates. Central government sets the valuation of the business through its District Valuers Agency and central government decides on the amount of the multiplier in the pound which produces the sum payable. The District Council simply collects business rates on behalf of the government. Iziís were successful in 2012 in reducing their rates payable upon appeal.

ďWith regard to Wetherspoons having an effect on Iziís trading, the planning system does not allow councils to artificially control competition in favour of one business over another. In any event the Wetherspoons building already had an existing planning consent as a nightclub.

ďIn an effort to assist Iziís the District Councilís licensing committee recently extended the time of entry into Iziís in response to their request.

ďAs a district council we will continue to do all we can to support local traders to help them thrive, such as providing free car parking in all our towns.Ē

Posted : 03/09/2013 19:17:26

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