A retailer affected by roadworks near her store has gained the backing of her MP - who is also a government minister - in response to C-Store’s Works Must Pay campaign.
The campaign, run alongside C-Store’s sister title The Morning Advertiser, is calling on the government to address legislation to ensure local shops receive adequate compensation for highways or utilities works which diminish their trade.
Julie Shepherd, of Castle Stores in Mow Cop, near Stoke, has lost thousands of pounds in sales this year due to various utilities works - involving Severn Trent, National Grid and United Utilities - restricting access to her shop. National Grid has refused to compensate her for any loss of earnings, although Severn Trent has given her £700 for disruption caused by its roadworks.
“Severn said they weren’t fully liable and that National Grid would pay the rest, but they didn’t. National Grid said you must lose £4,000 in profit over a four-week period to be eligible for compensation.”
However, her MP Karen Bradley, who is also crime prevention minister, told C-Store that she has now written to the chief executive of the National Grid and that “depending on his response, [I] will take this issue up with ministers”.
“I share your concerns as I am a firm believer in promoting and protecting small businesses in my constituency, particularly given the fact that many areas are semi-rural and residents rely heavily on the services,” she added.
Bradley’s intervention came after Julie and C-Store contacted her about the case.
Dean Holborn, owner of Holborn’s in Surrey, emphasised the value of retailers engaging with MPs. “If you get your MP involved you get a much quicker response. Invite your MP to your store, especially if you’re in the middle of a road closure, to highlight the damage caused,” he said.
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