My wife started her own business last year in our local town, renting a property to retail her products from. The business has been running at a loss, which was expected for the first year, but then she was sent a bill for £51 for the Business Improvement District levy for the year. She knew nothing about the BID or what the levy was for so she contacted them and was told that the BID was an organisation that had nothing to do with the local council and is controlled by a board of directors that are voted in out of the local business owners. The puropse of the BID is to help improve and develop the area to attract people to use local businesses.
My wife looked over everything and decided that she was not going to pay the levy, as the BID have done nothing for her business, nor for any business on the street in which she is located, and she didn't agree to the BID when she started her business. In essence there is no contract between her, her business and the BID. However the BID insist that all businesses started in the area after 2007 when the BID was instated are liable for the levy.
Now, she has been sent a summons from the local council to go to magistrates court to pay the levy and additional costs, totalling £111.
What are her options here? Should she attend the hearing and argue that there is no contract between her and the BID and thus no offer, acceptance or consideration? Or should she not attend the hearing and send the summons back to the court with NCRTS on the envelope? Are there any other options she could explore?
Thanks in advance for any help.