A Pan Estate pub should not have to pay the Wight Bid tourism levy, says its landlady, but the tourism organisation behind the charge says there is room for appeal.
Suzanne Sheppard runs the Robin Hood pub on Newport’s Pan Estate. She is due to appear before Isle of Wight magistrates later this month, after failing to pay the bill. She told Isle of
Wight Radio that her pub does not rely on tourism.
“[Our customers are] predominantly locals. Even at the Isle of Wight Festival we got about five people up here. We’re on a housing estate, quite a while from town. We’re not tourism based at all.
“I don’t see what they can do for me. They sent me a bit of paper. First of all we thought it was someone un-legit, trying their luck. We looked on Isle of Wight Council [website] and realised it was on there. I didn’t expect them to carry it through.
“Maybe they should visit the premises first. They’ve put a pin in a business…without actually establishing where that business is.”
Ms Sheppard currently owes £211.13 and a further £22 fee will be added when she goes to court.
In response Wight Bid says there is room for appeal, but says it has not received one from the Robin Hood pub. The organisation says it sends emails out to over 1600 levy paying and tourism industry contacts every month, encouraging people to review the information on the Industry News and Resources website.
Wight Bid says an appearance before magistrates is an opportunity to put across an alternative argument as the case is civil, not criminal.
“It’s the first year of the BID, and there are inevitably going to be specific cases that don’t fit the norm. The process does allow for these to be considered.”