Yesterday we gave a statement to James Calnan of The Daily Gazette here in Colchester, only a small portion was used so here you can read it in full.
"Our dispute is not with Wilkin and Sons, they are an ethical company with an enviable reputation, we have been using Tiptree products in our café for almost 10 years. They are not the cheapest but they are the best. Our dispute is with Colchester Borough Council because who in their right mind would allow another business to cross their land to open up next door in competition without a protest….we would never win The Apprentice that’s for sure.
This is not fundamentally about competition, we have been in business long enough to know that competition can be a very good thing and we have confidence in our ‘homemade brand’ its about certain principles ie: the fact that Colchester Borough Council must have known that they didn’t own the archway and probably assumed that we would say nothing. We are not so naïve as to not realise we risk being portrayed as the bad guys in all of this but who wouldn’t stand up for themselves in a similar position? We owe it to our business, our hard working staff and loyal customers. The dispute has gone to adjudication with the Land Registry so we have no influence over what happens next, realistically we don’t expect to win this but we had to make a stand.
We were really disappointed when Colchester Borough Council closed Tymperleys it is a genuine heritage site of real importance to Colchester and should be open to the people of the town to enjoy as Bernard Mason intended. The sad thing is that with so much money allocated across town towards Firstsite/VAF it had to be closed at all."
We didn't ask for any of this, it's been dumped on our doorstep by Colchester Borough Council who decided that they didn't need to check who owned what before proceeding with offering a lease. We could have done without all this quite frankly.