Anger over tenant decorating scheme

Published:  31 October, 2012

SOUTH TYNESIDE: A South Tyneside Homes scheme which gives tenants up to £200 to spend on decorating new or recently refurbished houses, but only at B&Q, is set to continue despite opposition from local traders.

Walter Metcalfe, who runs Metcalfe's Home Decor, and fellow small DIY stores were told in April that the initiative would be widened to include independent shops, but South Tyneside Homes now says the B&Q link-up, worth up to £200,000 a year, will continue until at least August 2013, as a binding contract is in place until that date.

South Tyneside's traders will continue to lose out if customers are not given the choice where to spend their cash, Mr Metcalfe says. He says he has had to turn away many shoppers who are part of the scheme - and send them on their way to B&Q.

Mr Metcalfe says: "We feel like we've been strung along all this time. So once again, small businesses lose out, with tenants unable to use their vouchers to seek the best selection, service and value available.

The project was introduced in January 2010 and is set to run until August 2013.

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