Garff Commissioners has said it intends to install lockers and showers in the shelter on the village’s prom.
This comes after much controversy this weekend as the Laxey Beach Shop Cafe said it was told to remove all of its furniture and road safety barriers from the inside and outside of the roadside shelter.
In a post on Facebook, the cafe, which has set up a petition calling for support in allowing it to continue providing the service it does, including cleaning, said it has ‘happily provided tables, chairs and benches inside and outside the shelter and cafe for 15 years, for the benefit of all members of the public (customers, groups and private picnickers)’.
It added: ‘The cafe also provided road safety barriers, maintain and clean the shelter and pay for rubbish collection. Garff commissioners have requested we remove all furniture and road safety barriers. We unaware of any replacement service.’
There has been accusations on Facebook that this has stemmed from a letter received by Garff Commissioners from a Port St Mary resident who claimed that were made to feel ‘very unwelcome’ by staff from the kiosk and as a result moved elsewhere. The cafe denied any knowledge of the alleged event in correspondence with the Commissioners, as is stated on the minutes from its meeting on June 15.
In a comment on the authority’s Facebook page, Julie Pinson, who is both a commissioner and owner of the Beach Stop Cafe, said two emails have been sent to the authority asking for a time and date for when the incident was alleged to occurred.
She said: ‘No information was supplied. None of the staff have any knowledge of this. I can see nothing on the CTV the week this letter was received and referred to. Everyone and their pets are welcome in the public shelter, free to use our tables, chairs and benches whether or not they make a purchase. This has been the case seen 2008 as advised on the board set out in the shelter.’
The petition set up by the cafe has attracted over 2,400 signatures.
After Gef contacted the commissioners for a comment on the situation around the shelter, the authority issued a statement saying it would be ‘enhancing the current facilities within the shelter over the coming months’.
The statement added: ‘It should be noted, however, that all customers of the adjacent kiosk takeaway will be absolutely welcome to use the facilities to consume food and drink items inside the building; along with all Members of the Public.
‘The Commissioners have not fully finalised their plans at this stage but have resolved to install lockers for ‘swimmers’, adjacent shower facilities, etc, along with a range of other internal facilities and amenities to benefit the public and beach users.’
Garff Commissioners added that a further statement would be issued once plans have been finalised and that the members ‘remain committed to providing facilities which will assist and benefit local businesses’.