12:00pm Monday 3rd February 2014
By Alex Bysouth
A WELL known Winsford fish ‘n’ chip is ‘fighting for survival’ after the local authority announced plans to implement double yellow lines on the road outside.
Cheshire West and Chester Council is in a formal consultation over plans to introduce double yellow lines on a section of the A54 High Street.
However, the proposals mean customers of Foodcraft would no longer be able to park outside the shop, something owner John Finney believes will be the death of his business.
“We are fighting for our survival,” he said. “We don’t have the resources to relocate so we will have to close. This is a business that has taken a lifetime to build.
“We live in a town that’s dying, as far as the town centre is concerned, week on week there are more empty shops.
“But they will close a business down that has up to 1,200 customers a week, who come to spend money in our town and pay the wages of our workers from the town – we employ 12 people, sometimes 17, many on a full time basis.”
Mr Finney’s father bought Foodcraft more than 40 years ago, but he fears the family-run business is on the brink of closure.
“For the last 40 years people have stopped outside our shop,” he said. “This will absolutely bring our business down.”
These views were echoed by Mike Bennett, whose hairdressers the Cutting Edge will also be affected.
He added: “It’s ridiculous; this will impact massively on my business as customers will have to walk from the town centre.
“At this moment in time business is not brilliant and it’s hard enough without having to battle the council, who are supposed to be on our side.”
Mike Kennedy, Winsford mayor, said the council were making decisions with ‘no thought or regard’ for the people in the town.
“How do I, as mayor, make a promise at my inauguration to engage with and support local business when silly decisions are made to hinder and harm local business,” he said.
“In Foodcraft, yes we are talking about a fish, pie and chip shop, but it is so much more to Winsford – it is an institution.
“It was nice to hear about Localism, but annoying in the extreme to find out it means nothing.
“Do Cheshire West and Chester Council believe that Winsford should be destroyed? I doubt it, so let us have some common sense.”
Councillor Lynn Riley, executive member for localities, said: “Parked vehicles along this stretch of the A54 create a hazard because they restrict the use of one lane, forcing motorists to switch lanes.
“The proposal to remove on-street parking follows a detailed assessment of all options.”
Foodcraft has started an online petition against the proposals, it can be found at ipetitions.com/petition/savefoodcraft
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