Chip shop wants £70k council scaffolding payout

Andrzej Jakimiuk, who serves in the chip shop. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Andrzej Jakimiuk, who serves in the chip shop. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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A CHIPPY boss is seeking damages worth around 10,000 fish suppers - because his shop has been obscured by scaffolding for eight months.

Newington Traditional Fish Bar owner Bill Bowles, 51, claims his once-successful takeaway is now on its knees because customers were turned off by the ugly metallic facade that blighted his business for 34 weeks.

He said his takings have plummeted since repair work – that was supposed to last just three months – began on neighbouring properties under Statutory Repairs legislation.

Now the entrepreneur has written to the City Chambers demanding compensation for the £70,000 in business he claims to have lost as a result of the disruptive works.

Disputes between property owners along with stone work that “went on far too long” pushed back a completion date which he says significantly hit the shop in the pocket.

Mr Bowles, an Independent councillor in Angus, said he turned over £200,000 the year before work began but had since suffered “devastating losses”.

“We’ve had the rug pulled from underneath us,” he said.

“If scaffolding is anywhere near your premises it affects your business. People don’t want to cross the road as it’s an obstruction.”

Despite being removed last November, the protracted scaffolding saga has had a lasting impact on trade.

“For us it’s devastated the business to the point that I am unsure we are going to recover from it,” he said.

“I’m seeking compensation from the council because it’s left us almost financially devastated.

“We knew this job was going to happen and had no problem with that. But there are question marks over the competency of the whole property department at the council with the sackings and allegations of corruption going on there. It appears to me business people and entrepreneurs who are trying to make a living are left carrying the can for this incompetence once again.

“It’s the same problem that happened with the trams, the poor people in Leith who lost businesses because of that fiasco.”

Cllr Cameron Rose, who represents Southside and Newington, said Mr Bowles “deserves to be compensated” for his losses.

“This is another casualty of the statutory notice scandal and I’m not persuaded from other cases that we have an efficient service in place yet.”

A council spokesman said: “The council intervenes at owners’ request where repairs are necessary and the owners cannot agree on how to take them forward. If a complainant wishes to make claim we will refer it through our insurers.”

How to spend £70,000

COUNTING the cost of a £70,000 annual loss, city chiefs would have to compensate Bill Bowles to the tune of around 10,000 fish suppers – at a standard price of £6 each... but what else could the cash buy?

• 3500 Dominos pizzas

• 35,000 McDonalds Big Macs

• 1750kg of Welsh Black Fillet Steak

• 195 X 125g portions of Schrenckii Caviar.

• 82oz of gold

• A sporty BMW convertible.

• The services of two average English Premier League footballers for a week.

• A one-bedroom flat in Elgin Terrace off Easter Road.

• 175 £400 round the world trips including multiple stops.

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