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Wine-seller Jude Perera hits out at Enfield Borough Council for failing to help his Winchmore Hill business Village Wines
A wine-seller forced to sell his business has hit out at Enfield Borough Council for failing to help him in difficult times.
Jude Perera, who set up Village Wines in Winchmore Hill last December, is struggling to cope in the tough financial market so is trying to sell his shop.
The 54-year-old, who lives in Abbotts Crescent, in Chase Side, applied for hardship relief from the council in March but claims he has not received any support.
He said his business rates — set at £9,014 per year — are too high to enable a new independent business to succeed and believes if they had been lower, the shop, in Green Lanes, may have been able to survive.
He said: “I said I am not an outsider, I have lived in this borough for ten years, I am a resident, I pay my council tax, I am very decent. But this is what the council is doing.
“I have never been involved with the police or been in a court. I am a very law-abiding citizen, I wanted to give something back to the society that I live in but I have had no support.
“If they had lowered my rates, I wouldn’t be in this trouble.”
The father-of-two, who is married to wife Naomi, is unable to afford staff so works on his own in the shop from 5am to 10pm every day.
His landlord reduced his rent from £22,000 to £18,000 in a bid to give him a life-line, and Mr Perera is questioning why the council has not done the same.
He said he received a court summons in May due to his unpaid rates, although Mr Perera claims he has paid everything he owed.
He said: “I don’t know what I am doing personally because I am a family man with a grandchild and I have no time to spend with my family.
“I want to say it is unfair for them to treat people like this especially in this kind of environment – not just for me but for everybody.
“This is a nice area with a very rich and decent clientele, I like this place, the area and the customers but unfortunately I am not the man to do this.”
He is concerned future independent businesses will be less likely to open in Enfield due to the business rates, which he believes are too high.
The Enfield Independent is waiting for a comment from the council.