Birds Bakery, the Derby-based craft chain, has closed one of its oldest shops to reduce the amount of stores in the area.The shop in Normanton Road, Derby, faced competition from a nearby, larger Birds branch in Walbrook Road and four other branches in central Derby. It employed three people, all of whom have received positions elsewhere in the company.Birds was founded in 1919 and the Normanton Road shop was one of the very oldest stores. According to Mike Holling, retail director at Birds, it was possibly the second to be opened and the oldest in Birds’ possession at the time of closure.Holling said: “The shop was very small, sales had declined over the years and parking was becoming an issue for deliveries.“It was a bit of Birds history but the important thing is we have plans to open new shops.”He added: “What was very nice was all the customers who said they would be happy to move to the Walbrook Road branch to buy our products.”Birds currently runs 56 stores in the north west, including a new store in Duffield, Derbyshire. Opened in the first week of December, Birds spent around £70,000 on refitting and refurbishing the site. Holling added the company had plans to open two more stores after Easter in the suburbs of Derby.
As Southwest Washington property values continue to tank, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District leaders are poised to adopt $1.25 million in spending cutbacks in the system’s 2012-13 budget.District officials are preparing to lay off employees at library branches and the district headquarters, scale back professional services and capital improvements and permanently retire the Clark County Bookmobile.What they won’t do: Trim library branch service days or hours, just months after they were restored with aid of a property tax levy lid lift approved by voters last year.That tax measure followed a round of service reductions made in early 2009.Anticipated property tax revenue in the four-county district — which supplies about 95 percent of library funding — is just shy of $21 million for the 2011-12 budget cycle.For the 2012-13 cycle, estimated property tax revenue is $19.1 million: a decline of about 9 percent.Falling property values have pushed the library tax rate to its maximum 50 cents per $1,000 limit allowed by Washington state law.Any further drop in total assessed property directly slices FVRL’s property tax funding (unlike locally approved school operating levies, where tax rates are not capped).