SHAW and Crompton Parish Councillors say they have been unfairly targeted on social media following Amanda Wright’s decision to announce her departure from Café Mandels.
A statement to clarify their position has now been produced and the matter discussed at the July meeting of the Parish Council where Clr Angie Farrell raised the issue of social media criticism.
“What concerns me,” she said, “is the Parish Council is being drawn into something we haven’t been approached about.
“A lot of people may not realise that the parish councillors are not the borough councillors. We have been slated on there (social media) and in person.
“People have come to me and asked why I wasn’t doing anything to support them.
“It worries me that because the Parish Council gets unfairly criticised, it puts us a bad light.
“We were being slated for not doing anything but we weren’t involved or asked what we could or couldn’t do.
“We need to take action and have a mandate, say with clerk on our behalf, so we can put our side of the story to certain issues that arise.”
Clerk Tony Hilton said “As far as I understand nobody was fully aware of what the issues were with the café or have we, as a body, been approached to either support help or advise in trying to resolve the issues.
“It would seem to be somewhat unfair the Parish Council is being criticised for not helping the café remain open.
“The public have interpreted it in a certain way and assume it is the Parish Council rather than Café Mandels overtly saying the Parish Council did nothing.”
The Parish Council have now issued the following statement:
“On 29 June, the owners of Café Mandels issued a statement on the Café Mandels Facebook page announcing the closure of the café in August.
“The café owners explain that due to apparent delays in a decision by local councillors regarding a new lease, they have had no alternative but to close the café next month.
“However, some members of the public that responded on Facebook to this announcement appear to criticise the Parish Council/Parish Councillors for the closure, assuming Parish Councillors are the ‘local councillors’ referred to in the Café Mandels
“This is not the case and for the record, please note the following:
“Firstly, the lease agreement for the café in Dunwood Park is between the owners (tenants) and the Borough Council and as such any negotiations regarding the terms of the lease do not involve the Parish Council.
“Secondly, at no time has the matter been raised with the Parish Council nor has any representation been made to the Parish Council seeking support for the café.
“The first that the Parish Council became aware of the café closure was via the closure statement itself which had been reposted on the I Love Shaw Facebook page.
“Therefore, whilst acknowledging there seems to be a misunderstanding of the facts in some quarters, the Parish Council still feels the criticism of the Parish Council regarding this matter is completely unfair.
“Nevertheless, the Parish Council extends its best wishes to Amanda and Andrea (Café Mandels) for the future.”