MP Philip Dunne urged petrol retailers to keep on fighting against the "unfair" hikes they face in Business Rates, during his

pre-dinner speech at the Top Indies dinner in Sutton Coldfield last month.


The Conservative MP for Ludlow told guests that the government could not be allowed to get away with operating one rating system for forecourt shops and another for standalone shops as part of the VOA revaluation.


As guest speaker at the Top Indies event at The Belfry, he told the elite gathering of the UK’s biggest independent retailers, that he was aware of retailers in his constituency whose livelihoods were being threatened by the proposed hikes due to come into force on April 1.


He also suggested that if the VOA continued to be bloody-minded about the issue retailers might consider "renting out" their car wash and c-store businesses as standalone operations, so they would be measured on an area basis, separate from the forecourt which is measured on a turnover basis.


Dunne highlighted how petrol stations played an important role in local communities, with entrepreneurial retailers in his area offering services such as a post office and even newspaper deliveries. He went on to praise RMI Petrol for its work in raising the profile of Business Rates and asked retailers to contact their MPs to help keep the issue on the agenda.


The Top Indies dinner celebrates the publication of the Top 50 Indies listing a league table of the biggest independent fuel retailer groups in the UK published in the March issue of Forecourt Trader. The event was held during the International Forecourt & Fuel Exhibition and Convenience Retailing Show at the NEC in Birmingham.