Published: April 3, 2009
Exclusive: Highbridge traders' anger over roadworks 'compensation'

Angry businesses in Highbridge have hit out at Sedgemoor District Council's financial help following months of disruptive roadworks after several firms received cheques of just £20 and less.

Months of work to replace gas mains along Church Street started in January, causing endless traffic queues and severely denting the trade of nearby businesses - as first reported here by

The matter was taken up with Sedgemoor's Revenues Team, who announced on Wednesday that a 'solution' had been found.

The Valuation Office confirmed that the disruption caused by the roadworks was "sufficient to warrant a temporary reduction in the Rateable Value of properties affected, " said district council spokeswoman Claire Faun.

She added: "The Valuation Officer will process these reductions shortly, which will enable Sedgemoor District Council to issue revised Business Rate bills to the affected traders."

However, Russell Chedzoy of Bay Tree Upholstery in Church Street, pictured above, was amazed to receive a cheque for just £20.38.

"It certainly doesn't compensate us for the months of problems we've endured," he told

And Jane Brooks of Skidmarx cycle shop in Church Street told us: "We've received just £14, which hardly compensates for all the disruption and loss of trade."

"We think the council should be ashamed for not highlighting that we have received such a small amount."

Meanwhile, Sedgemoor District Council stressed that it only processes the administration of the claims and has no control over the amount of claims, which it says is overseen by the Valuation Office.


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