There is much to applaud in the success of RMI Petrol’s campaign to secure "some very good reductions to rateable values" (see News Extra page 10).


Firstly, the hard work. Since becoming chairman of RMIP just a year ago, Brian Madderson has put in thousands of miles and hours attending meetings, writing and speaking to anyone in the media who’d listen, from local radio and newspapers to the national press and TV.


He has also spent considerable time trying to drum up support from petrol retailers, on whose behalf he is fighting. More than 2,000 retailers lodged appeals against their 2010 business rates. This was all grist to his mill, and the team fighting alongside him. However, all fuel retailers stand to benefit from any concessions made by the Valuations Office Agency, so surely there is no reason why everyone is not queuing up to join Brian and his campaign...


The other aspect of this campaign to applaud is the fact that any concessions were made at all. Especially as there has been an election and change of government in the middle of it all. New people have to be apprised of the situation; and certainly no one is in the mood for giving away money if they don’t have to. Granted there is still a long way to go before the shop element is fair. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. More evidence is needed. New battle lines are being drawn. Make sure you’re part of it.


Elsewhere it’s heartening to see a sales assistant still going strong and winning awards at 79 years young (see page 4). She still works six days a week starting at 6.15am every day. Well done Elaine.


And with Total and Murco up for sale there continues to be gossip on ’who’s buying what’. With certain bid deadlines passed this month the money’s on an Irish company and a supermarket rumoured to be going through due diligence. Roll on the New Year for more news.


Season’s greetings to you all.