Wow what a night! Many congratulations to Patrick Sewell and his team at Sewell on the go South Cave for becoming our latest Forecourt Trader of the Year winner. It’s a second time around for him he last won in 2009.

There was generally a very high standard of entries from across the Sewell on the go group, which has clearly raised the bar again in terms of high standards of operation and engagement with customers. It’s one thing building a fantastic forecourt and convenience store structure, but quite another to pack both the shop and forecourt with a full complement of goods and services, and keep it all well-maintained and welcoming, and inspirational to customers on a daily basis. Engagement with the local community, as Sewell on the go has shown, also helps to strengthen the roots of customer loyalty.

Being a great retailer means never standing still, and as we celebrate 20 years of the awards, this brings to mind David Charman of Parkfoot Garage, our very first winner, in 1996. Since then he has continued to rank among the leading fuel retailers, showing great enterprise, courage and determination, such that he has won many awards over the ensuing years for his thriving business, and was again a winner this year see all the results starting on page 49. But well done to everyone who entered the competition, and especially those who made it to the finals sadly we can’t give awards to everyone, but the mere fact of entering means you’re aiming for the highest standards and in with a chance of being a winner.

Meanwhile, less inspirational, is the publication of the headline figures for the revaluation of business rates (see News Extra, page 10). It’s a long-running sore that forecourt shops are assessed differently to convenience stores. Now there are proposed changes to the appeals system which could restrict the number of appeals. Perhaps the focus should be on getting things right in the first place.