Shrewsbury businessman to take on council leader and town's MP at next elections
A Shrewsbury businessman is planning to stand against both the leader of Shropshire Council and the town's MP in the next elections.
Mike Avery, who owns Cromwell's, on Dogpole in Shrewsbury, said he is so dismayed with the Conservative leadership both on the council and in Parliament that he has thrown his hat in to the ring and has already obtained a substantial following.
"I will be taking Peter Nutting on in the Copthorne Ward and I will be standing as an independent conservative at the next General Election against Daniel," said Mr Avery.
"The support has already been tremendous. Daniel had been a great disappointment to me. I'm sure that I'm not alone.
"We employ 28 people directly at Cromwell's, and support the jobs of over 100 other local people through investments and we are pulling out.
"Shrewsbury is not a 'friendly' business environment and Daniel seems to be turning a blind eye to the issues being faced by his constituents who run businesses in Shrewsbury. If he does not understand the complexities of the issues he needs to ask those who do.
"Shrewsbury town centre is in terminal decline regarding business. We invested in a Shrewsbury town centre business. We can't deal with the obscene business rates, parking rates hikes and hostile business environment created by this Conservative administration at Shirehall.
"I walked around Shrewsbury town centre today and witnessed multiple roadworks, a plethora of 'To Let' signs on commercial businesses and the vagrants. Shrewsbury is a lost cause thanks to, what I firmly believe is, a failed, uncaring and incompetent administration at Shirehall.
"We are progressing with a planning application to revert our building at Cromwell's to a private home. Then we will sell it and divest our business interests in the town.
Twenty-eight jobs will be lost, business rates will be lost, an iconic venue will be lost but my wife and I will no longer be tormented with such a toxic business environment and hostile local administration which causes such distress."
Councillor Nic Laurens, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for economic growth, said: “We are saddened to hear of this possible closure. We will of course support the staff who face losing their jobs to ensure that they find alternative employment.
“It is worth noting that, in Shrewsbury footfall was 8.2 per cent up in February 2018 compared with February 2017. Over the same period, footfall was 1.4 per cent down in the UK as a whole and three per cent down according to the High Street Index, which covers market towns.
“We have exciting plans for the future, as detailed in Shrewsbury’s Big Town Plan, and we’re confident that, together, we can build on the town’s prosperity by investing in the amazing businesses we have and encouraging others to invest.”
Mr Kawczynski declined to comment.