Councillor fined for non payment of VAT

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A well-known Seaford town councillor has been ordered to pay £100 in compensation after failing to pay VAT costs for his business.

Sam Adeniji, also a Lewes District Councillor, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of failing to pay VAT for his business Net Bar Services Ltd, of Bolton Road, Eastbourne.

The 48-year-old, of Buckle Drive, Seaford, appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday last week and also asked for seven similar counts to be taken into consideration.

He told the Gazette he had invested thousands of pounds into the business and tried to make it work but he could no longer sustain ‘a failing business’ and had struggled to pay the VAT costs because of his financial circumstances.

The court heard he failed to pay amounts of VAT varying from £581.12 to £764.75 on numerous occasions in 2012.

It also heard how the Conservative councillor suffered financial ruin after the economic crisis forced him to close bars he owned in Portsmouth and Seaford.

It was also said he still had to pay rent and associated costs and other venues in Eastbourne began suffering.

The councillor must also pay £1,700 in costs.

Net Bar Services Ltd was fined £1.

After the hearing he told the Gazette, “The issue was about the business that I was running that was unsuccessful.

“All creditors were paid but unfortunately one quarter VAT – approximately 17 weeks - was outstanding.

“I was not being deceitful or swindling taxpayers. I invested thousands of pounds into the business I ran and tried to save it.

“It came to a point where I could not continue to sustain a failing business.”

The IT consultant, who suffered heart failure last year and had to be hospitalised because of stress, has been heavily involved in fighting for better healthcare services in Seaford and also set up a petition calling for Seaford household waste and recycling unit to remain open, following proposals to close it.

He said he wanted to focus on doing his best for Seaford in his council role.

He added, “I am working on the issue of Seaford Household Waste and Recycling Unit and trying to put the court case behind me.”