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STATEMENT: The Emporium, Warley

February 9, 2021 9:04 PM
Spot the difference

Spot the difference

Sad to say, The store's appeal was not upheld by the council and the closure enforcement remains in place however THE EMPORIUM WILL BE TRADING FROM 8.45am WEDNESDAY offering click/phone and collect. This is permitted.
I know everyone will be pleased about this but how did we get here? Officers insist they have operated within the law and they most likely have, but this is flawed panic legislation from national government.
What I will never get to the bottom of is why they even went to The Emporium in the first place. No complaints had been received. However, the council has, in the past few weeks, enhanced their enforcement and on Friday were cock-a-hoop at giving out 75 enforcement notices across Brentwood. Were they just showing off in the press release issued? As a friend of mine said, "picking the low hanging fruit" rather than tackle the major stores like Marks & Spencer that are openly taking advantage. I've been told the larger stores are to be tackled too. We will be watching.
In a meeting with senior officers this afternoon I've been assured that plenty of practical assistance is given to Barry. As ward councillor, I'll keep in contact with him too to monitor this and support him where I can. We've also offered legal support from a solicitor/councillor. I've been assured the notice will not have any detrimental effect on the business.
I also asked for Brentwood Council to write officially to central government with a view to allowing 'community exemptions' to such stores that are offering essential services but may not fall in to a specific category. This would allow councils to offer exemptions where vital services are offered to a specific community's needs. You heard that here first if our PM tries to claim it!
So that's where we are now. Thank you for everyone that's played a part in this, it sure caused waves!!!
Good luck Barry for tomorrow and beyond!

Cllr Karen Chilvers
Brentwood West