This bit is designed to add to your overall general retail knowledge, just in case. In the November 25, 2011 issue I reported on Mark Wilson’s ongoing battle with his valuation office over rates, which he obviously thinks are too high. The valuation office settled on a tribunal, which Mark was set to attend on December 7.

I asked for retailer-experience feedback and had Ashok Patel on the phone from his business, Shearsby’s in London town.

He did the whole thing without help and tells me that there were about 10 people there, waiting to have their cases heard.

There were three ‘judges’ (much like magistrates’ court) and you have one go at it. He presented his trading figures and based his case on the fact that two supers had opened recently nearby. He handed out copies of his facts. They listened to him and the valuation office’s case and went off to deliberate. He won.

Another good note: chartered surveyor Ken Batty in Preston, who initially gave Mark Wilson some free advice, is prepared to take him through the process, (starting with a request for a postponement of the date). He couldn’t be in better hands.