Advertising

Riot-hit Wolverhampton trader fears business will fold

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A trader who lost tens of thousands of pounds of stock during the West Midlands riots fears he could be the first business to fold as a result of the trouble.

A trader who lost tens of thousands of pounds of stock during the West Midlands riots fears he could be the first business to fold as a result of the trouble.

Thugs and looters cost Sham Sharma, who owns computer store Sunitek.com in Broad Street, Wolverhampton, in the region of £50,000 when they ransacked his firm.

He has not been able to open for business since the riots swept through the city in August because he cannot properly secure his shop. Mr Sharma said the city council has insisted that he needs to apply for planning permission to install shutters on the building. He said: "The local council should be there to help people affected instead of preventing them from trying to move forward.

"I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to go on. If I don't start trading soon, I will lose my staff who will need to find work elsewhere.

"It could be a nine-week process to get the planning permission I need, which is ridiculous. It's a huge problem for me."

Mr Sharma said that without shutters being in place, he fears looters will return and ransack the shop.

He will not reopen until the shutters are in place. No-one at the city council was available for comment.

Mr Sharma was among scores of businesses in Wolverhampton whose stores were targeted in the riots.

Advertising

Firms in Queen Street, Darlington Street and Victoria Street were ransacked as looters smashed their way in and took stock.

Elsewhere in the Midlands, shops in Birmingham and West Bromwich were also looted during two nights of unprecedented violence.

Yesterday it emerged that 65 applications for funding had been received by West Midlands Police Authority from businesses or people affected by the riots. The authority could recoup some of the money from those claims from a £20 million fund set up by Prime Minister David Cameron.

By Shaun Jepson

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News