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

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House of Lords Advisor Slams Council's Treatment of Shropshire Family PR Newswire STOKE-ON-TRENT, England, May 29, 2012 STOKE-ON-TRENT, England, May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A key parliamentary advisor has described Wrexham

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House of Lords Advisor Slams Council's
Treatment of Shropshire Family
PR Newswire
STOKE-ON-TRENT, England, May 29, 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."