Councillor under new legislation fire
A WELL-KNOWN businessman could be taken to court by the council he serves. North Somerset Council has taken enforcement action against Councillor Chris Kimitri, a well-known Weston businessman who is also a private landlord. The authority has taken action
A WELL-KNOWN businessman could be taken to court by the council he serves.North Somerset Council has taken enforcement action against Councillor Chris Kimitri, a well-known Weston businessman who is also a private landlord.The authority has taken action after a woman complained about the state of the flat in West Street she had been renting from him.Hazards such as a 'loose toilet seat, a cracked hand-basin, leaking walls and structural damage' were uncovered by council inspectors after the complaint was lodged.The landlord, also a Weston town councillor, failed to respond to an informal approach from Town Hall housing officers to correct problems identified after the initial complaint was made in February.Other problems including a faulty fire alarm, a lack of fire extinguisher and structural damage at the property, led the council to take the first action of its kind under new housing legislation.Cllr Kimitri was served with an improvement notice on June 22, which meant the council could begin criminal proceedings against him if he did not comply with its terms while the woman was still living at the address.The deadline for the completion of the work was last month, but the council did not prosecute Cllr Kimitri because the woman moved out before the August 22 deadline. However, if another tenant rents the flat without the necessary work being completed, the Weston & Somerset Mercury understands Cllr Kimitri could end up before a judge.Earlier this month Weston Town Council also took issue with Cllr Kimitri over unpaid gas bills from Towerpiece, the company which owns the South Parade building where Barcode Youth Cafe is based.Cllr Kimitri, whose wife is a Towerpiece director, acted as a company spokesman at a meeting at Grove House.He was warned he could be reported to the Standards' Board for representing the interests of a private company while also a town councillor.A local authority spokesman said: "We can confirm that action has taken place with regard to Councillor Kimitri in his role as a private housing landlord, the details of which are a matter of public record."The Mercury contacted Cllr Kimitri last week who said he was not aware of any enforcement action being taken. He said: "I have no idea what you are talking about.