A LYME Regis trader has claimed his business has been “deliberately attacked” by the town council, after he made complaints at a recent public meeting.
George Symonds, a former town and district councillor who owns the Amusement Arcade on Marine Parade, has complained to the council several times that the entrance to his business has been blocked by work vehicles during the refurbishment of the seafront toilets.
In a letter sent to the council last week, he claimed the latest incident of a van blocking the arcade’s entrance was a “deliberate attack” on him, as he had publicly spoken against town council officers, saying they were “letting the people of Lyme Regis down”, when he raised several health and safety issues regarding the seafront at a recent meeting.
Lyme Regis Town Council said Mr Symonds’ claims of a deliberate attack were “absurd”.
In his letter to the council, Mr Symonds wrote: “Yet again the entrance to the Amusement Arcade has been obstructed by a workman’s van working on the toilets, thus restricting access for disabled and pushchairs/prams, even though they have two work compounds and eight car parking spaces at Monmouth Beach.
“I phoned the council office to speak to an officer and was told the only person in was the operations manager. I asked if he could call me back and after waiting 40 minutes I then phoned again. It took one hour and 30 minutes for the van to move. I had asked the workman to move the van and he refused.
“This is a deliberate attack against me as I spoke out against the officers of LRTC at the last full council meeting, for which I have still not had any redress from the points raised. If this is not deliberate then it must be incompetence.
“Please can you ask someone to look into this matter who is not prejudiced and biased against me for speaking out.”
Responding to Mr Symonds’ letter, Councillor John Broom, chairman of the Town Management & Highways Committee, said: “Mr Symonds contacted the council office about a contractor’s vehicle obstructing access to his amusement arcade.
“When Mr Symonds contacted the office, the operations manager was dealing with another issue, but was available to speak to him when Mr Symonds called back 40 minutes later.
“He spoke to the operations manager, who immediately went to the site to deal with the issue.
“There have been several reports from Mr Symonds of contractors’ vehicles obstructing the amusement arcade, and the officers have intervened several times on behalf of Mr Symonds and instructed the contractor to remove any offending vehicles.
“For Mr Symonds to claim this is a ‘deliberate attack’ by officers, or ‘incompetence’, is absurd.
“Before the works started, Mr Symonds was given a 50 per cent reduction in his rent in anticipation of any disruption which may be caused during the period of the works.”