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Thugs to blame for shop closure

A TOFFEE shop has been forced to close after a spate of vandalism.

COUNCILLORS Brian Roberts and Jean Lockwood outside shop
COUNCILLORS Brian Roberts and Jean Lockwood outside shop

A TOFFEE shop has been forced to close after a spate of vandalism.

Toffees, at the top of Union Road, Oswald-twistle, is one of several businesses which have had windows smashed, but calls for CCTV cameras have been dismissed as they are too expensive.

In the most recent incident in January, vandals smashed four shop windows in one weekend, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

And for Councillor Brian Roberts, who has owned Toffees for 10 years, this was the final straw.

He said: "The crunch came when we had the windows put in and the same weekend we got broken into. It made us take the earliest opportunity to get out. We have been plagued by vandals, the windows have been smashed four times in the last 10 years.

"A CCTV camera at the bottom of New Lane would be ideal and we need more police on the streets. I have spoken to the police but all they do is go round to the parents of the vandals. That is no good."

Councillor Roberts, who employed five staff, has now sold the shop to a Manchester-based company.

He said: "It was run-down when I took it over but I built it up to be a very good business. It was a combination of vandalism, business bureaucracy and escalating costs that led to it closing. As a councillor, I am concerned not just for my own business but for the other shops in this town.

"The customers are sad to see us go. I think it has come as a shock that we've closed so suddenly."

Councillor Mrs Jean Lockwood, who represents Immanuel Ward, said: "We definitely need a CCTV camera at this end of the road. It is not getting any better - it is getting worse. The shopkeepers are all fed up with it and something has got to be done."


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