Council says sorry to local firm

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TWO local businessmen have received an apology from Angus Council after a request to have their business premises’ car park cleared during the recent cold snap fell by the wayside.

Andrew Stephen and Jeff Moir of City Press Printers in the Southesk Street Business Park claimed that they have been tenants for the last decade and every year the car park has been cleared - apart from this year - ironically when the winter weather has been at its worst in half-a-century.

Jeff said: “The problems began because the snow got deeper and deeper and was never, ever cleared. We were delighted to see the thaw, because we have been out ourselves throwing down salt and moving snow.

“At one stage during the recent cold snap there was ten inches of snow outside our premises.

“We telephoned Angus Council and were told by people at the Business Development Unit that they would ‘try and sort something out’.

“Some customers have tried to drive up here into the business park and just had to give up.

“Some have told us they have waited until the new year until they visit us.

“The whole place has been like an ice rink and it has been equally treacherous for pedestrians and motorists.

“What makes matters worse is that every year of the past ten years someone has been up here clearing up during the winter. Yet as we have suffered the worst winter in half-a-century, we haven’t seen anyone.”

Andrew added: “While we would agree that priority routes have to be taken care of first and foremost, surely business must be a priority, especially during a recession.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “During the recent prolonged and very severe winter weather Angus Council cleared ice and snow from the extensive network of adopted roads and pavements in the county according to priority, treating the busiest routes first and sometimes more frequently.

“The prioritising was carried out in line with the council’s winter maintenance policies which can be found on the council’s website under www.angus.gov.uk/wintermaintenance

“The Business Centre car park is not part of the adopted roads network and is therefore not part of this treatment regime. In the past, clearance of the car park has been arranged through the council’s economic development team but this is not a requirement of the lease agreement which the council has with tenants.”

“We can confirm that a telephone call requesting assistance was received by an economic development officer before Christmas.

“Unfortunately, although the matter was investigated, the outcome of this investigation was not relayed back to the company at the time and as there had been no further communication, the officer had wrongly assumed that the problem was resolved. The officer concerned has subsequently phoned to apologise for the lack of communication.”