THE owner of a national award-winning chip shop said he feels like “packing it all in” after dog dirt was left on his car following a parking row.
Matthew Silk, co-owner of the successful Fish And Chips At 149 in Marton Road, Bridlington, found a bag of dog waste on his windscreen and another on his car bonnet after he had just finished a 14-hour shift in his shop on Saturday night.
The incident follows complaints from nearby residents who are upset about customers parking in front of their homes and eating their fish and chips on the grass verge outside the popular chippy.
Mr Silk said he understood some of the neighbour’s concerns and was doing all he could to solve the parking problem – including asking the council to look at implementing better parking in the area.
But he added that the ongoing issues have been wearing him down and are making him feel like moving the business elsewhere.
He said: “We have spent money to try and make our queue go faster. We have tried for two years – continued on Page 3
to get some designated parking. We are trying to make it better for everyone.
“That parade hasn’t really had anything done with it for 60 years and back then not every family had a car.
“Now you might have three cars to one family and it needs addressing to bring into 2011.”
The parking problem has been fuelled by the influx of holidaymakers during the summer season and the popularity of the shop has soared since it won Fish and Chip Shop of the Year this January – bringing it national publicity and making it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
And although Mr Silk is sympathetic to the problems this may cause to those who live near the shop, he said that constant wrangling with residents over parking matters were leaving him feeling depressed.
He said: “We have had notes from solicitors put on our cars, even though they’ve never been parked illegally.
“And people have said that we should make our staff park in the pub car park, but I’m not being funny, we have young girls working here and if they don’t finish a shift until 10.30pm why should they have to walk through a pub car park at that time?
“Their cars are all taxed, insured and legally parked on the road.”
He added: “Finding the dog waste on my car was disappointing. I’d just finished a 14-hour shift and I thought, ‘I’m just trying to do my best here’.
“I think it’s very unfair. We are trying to do good, we have put Bridlington on the map as far as fish and chips go, people come from all over to use us now thanks to the award and the publicity.
“We invest heavily in training and wages – we employ 14 young kids who have over 35 qualifications between them and we are in the top 100 small businesses to be employed by in the country.
“But this parking issue is really getting to me. I am thinking I’ve had enough and want to pack it all in.
“I’m no longer excited about going to work in the morning – and all this because some people don’t like others parking near them.
“The letter in last week’s Free Press from a resident complaining about people picnic-ing on the grass verge actually made me smile because it came at a time when buildings were being burnt down during rioting in cities across the country, and somebody here was moaning about people having picnics.”
John Skidmore, head of streetscene services at the council, said: “East Riding of Yorkshire Council is aware of the concerns raised by businesses and residents in Marton Road about parking and the council has assessed a number of options which were reported to the environment and regeneration overview and scrutiny sub committee last month.
“The committee agreed with the recommendations set out in the report but have asked that the council’s highways team look into the possibility of match funding with the businesses concerned in order to progress the works and letters will be issued to local businesses in the next few days.”