Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Community counts for nothing

... it would seem. And, who you know, appears to count for everything. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised and maybe I wouldn't have been, if this had been happening in Spain.

The latest on the fight to keep our cafe open is that, the planning application to retain the use of the premises as a coffee shop was refused.

Online support for retaining the cafe (the only coffee shop locally that sells Fair Trade coffee and is a community furniture project, providing furniture to people on benefits) had been at a ratio of about 4:1 in favour and yet still it was refused, which makes you wonder who at the "complaining cafe" (who raised the objection), knows who on the local council, doesn't it?

Anyway, Dorcas have been ordered not to put tables and chairs outside; to change the signage (to remove "Coffeeshop") and to remove the coffee facilities from the premises, leaving just the furniture "showroom".

Dorcas are also feeling the knock on effects of the property slump, because, with less homes being bought and sold and less people moving, they're getting less furniture donated and thus have less for people to buy. (They since closed the entire business, which is a terrible shame.)

On the positive side, the landlord has apparently put up some money of their own to get a proper study done to help Dorcas with an appeal. Plus, I am informed, that between Dorcas and the "complaining cafe", one of them is behind on their rent. And it isn't Dorcas.

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