A CITY optician whose premises have already been flooded four times this year claims he’s one more flooding incident away from going out of business.
And Scottish Water has now informed him that it will be March 2013 before it can fix the problem.
Steven Hislop, of The Opticians at Marchmont on Warrender Park Road, transformed his basement into a plush suite for treating high-end clients. But he has witnessed his basement flood every time there is heavy rain due to old clogged pipes – losing more than £7000 worth of stock as a result.
Despite three-and-a-half years of calls and complaints, the utility company has failed to fix the problem, and has even failed to turn up to scheduled meetings with him, leading to a day’s lost trade for the small business owner.
Mr Hislop said: “Despite numerous calls, Scottish Water has refused to do anything. Now they are claiming that it will be next year before they get around to it but when they were supposed to come and discuss the matter with me, they failed to show.
“I had to cancel 14 separate bookings that day, I can’t afford to lose that business.
“I have to use the basement for various functions and for my high-end clients because I have no other space but every time it rains I’m left worried sick that I’ll come in to find the place ruined once again. I’m one more flood away from going out of business.”
Mr Hislop, who employs three part-time staff at the shop, has now enlisted the help of local MP Ian Murray, who has championed his cause with the utility company.
Mr Murray said: “At a time when small businesses need all the support they can get, you would have thought a public body like Scottish Water would do everything they can to resolve problems that are clearly their responsibility.”