Bike Supplier Says He Wasn’t Consulted On Cycle-To-Work Scheme

A St Mary’s businessman says he feels that the Town Hall is not supporting local traders.

Yesterday we reported that the Council is to adopt a Government cycle-to-work scheme.

They’ll provide a 12-month loan for staff to lease a bike, which is then paid back from their salaries. The employee makes a saving in tax and national insurance.

Members were given a written report in last Thursday’s Council meeting stating that The Strand bike shop would not be able to supply the bikes.

But owner Mark Prebble says that’s the first he’s heard about it.

Peter Lawrence, Director of Finance, told us that cycles and equipment are sourced through the scheme provider. It’s not the case that Mark is not able to supply, but rather that he can’t do so under the terms of the scheme.

The Council recommended an online provider that could offer a broad range of bikes and equipment to meet the diverse needs of all staff. Participants can only buy their bike from them.

Peter says island businesses will be encouraged to offer peripheral services.

He claims that Mark agreed that if the cycle supply wasn’t feasible they could discuss a programme of maintenance and training that would ensure he, and some other local businesses, could benefit from the scheme.

Mark says, as a supporter of sustainability initiatives, he would have been keen to get involved.

But he remains adamant that he has no recollection of formally discussing whether or not he wanted to take part in the scheme and he says he was never asked by any Council officer whether he could supply bikes.


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