Tuesday 20th September 2005 So... ages since this blog was updated again!
I'm sitting here with a bad back - i'm able to sit at the computer now which is an improvement on the last couple of days!
This is not what i need at the moment as we have got to move premises - lock stock and barrel, and all a bit sudden...
The move have been planned for about a year but has been accelerated by a combination of local council "jobsworths" and downright two-faced and very unpleasant neighbours.
Basically, if you work from home, as i do - then your council can make you apply for a change of use - from residential dwelling to mixed dwelling and commercial - thing is, they don't like to give these out (i was told at the time that i would have to apply but i would NOT get permission) so they will FORCE you to move your business to business premises or close.
It's this kind of petty bull**** that is strangling the small business. This is not a council house - i own the house - yet the local council have the right to "shut me down" or make me move.
The Enforcement Officer from Reigate & Banstead borough council doesn't give a damn - in fact he told me to "get a job"... i'm sorry but i have not put myself through 9 years of hardship (both in work - allnighters and 70 hour weeks, and in money - just how much money do you think there is in CB radio nowadays??) to be told to 'get a job' by some @rse from the council who's acting on a malicious complaint from my immediate neighbout who i pi$$ed off cos i wouldn't chip in with her to have our shared carport roof done when she was getting well overcharged to start with!!
Her carport roof was leaking about a year ago - she came to me saying that it must be on my side and leaking through and that i MUST pay equal shares in getting the roof repaired. This is no special roof - just the area of 4 parking spaces yet she wanted about £3000 off me!!!
I explained that mine wasn't leaking - i keep my boxes and tubes there, ready for our goods to go out in, so it certainly was NOT leaking. I also explained that i was due to be getting married and i just couldn't think about spending that amount on something that wasnt affecting me and wasnt my fault.
Her reaction (this is word-for-word as i was SO insensed by it) was : "we'll see what health and safety say about it"
Health and safety??? At the time i thought she was mad - obviously thinking there is some "overseeing governor" who would force me to cancel my wedding to pay for her carport... what nonsense. I thought. Only she went to the council with some trumped up BS about me and my business.
This wasnt all she did - she's told all my other neighbours that the cars and vans that actually belong to another neighbour were in fact mine. I didn't realise this until i was blocked in by some guy who lives accross the road - i went to his door to be greated by four letter obsenities from him and his wife about all my f'ing cars everywhere !! I eventually found out that everyones been told that they are mine.
Anyway, the guy from the council let slip that "she" - the complainant had alleged all sorts of comings and goings that are simply untrue and designed to get me "in trouble". I can think of only one person who'd do this.
This woman has managed to get rid of my 4 times a week collections by citylink and my 2-3 deliveries a week and my 0-2 visitors a week - the price was untold stress on my wife and i (this has been hanging over us our entire married life together since April) so much stress that (we think) contributed to a miscarriage my wife had last month.
As you can tell, i feel agrieved by this - i feel insulted and very angry, but as with the "best" council produced BS - there is NOTHING i can do about it.
There is no complaints procedure - the decision of the individual enforcement officer does not have to be accounted for, there is no set percentage of the house that you can use for business before you have to change your house to part-business premises, and there is no appeal against the decision. The whole thing rests on the whim of ONE person - if they are not on your side YOU ARE STUFFED.
Who says small businesses flourish in Britain? It does, but only in "appropriately" taxed and business rates charged premises. If you work from home, watch out.