Tenant's future terminated at Clarence Park cafe

PUBLISHED: 12:30 26 January 2012

Tony Munden in Clarence park cafe after the arson attack in August.

Tony Munden in Clarence park cafe after the arson attack in August.

Archant

THE former tenant of Weston's Clarence Park café has voiced his disappointment after his lease was terminated by North Somerset Council.

Tony Munden, of Drove Road, was forced to leave the community café after an arson attack in August reduced it to a burnt-out hole.

Even though the 42-year-old campaigned to clean up the café with the help of Weston residents, he and his group were not allowed near the site for health and safety reasons.

Now, after conversations with council officers, Mr Munden has been told his lease has been terminated.

He said: “I received a letter saying it has been decided by the council that I agreed to a termination.

“I told the council I would not run the café until it was safe and secure.

“Since the time of the fire the council made promises of what they were going to do to fix it, and the café was supposed to be refurbished by December last year.”

While waiting for the council to rebuild the café which he had run for the past nine years, he opened the takeaway Spirit of Clarence Park, in Severn Road.

Mr Munden said: “My other business is going reasonably well, but a lot of my customers were very angry to hear my lease was terminated and that I won’t be back in the café.

“Before the café burnt down, I had an idea for this particular business to provide more food for the café, because the kitchen was so small. I thought that it could provide for more people in the community.

“I think this will affect the people who used the park café. People want me to run it because that’s what I have done for the past nine years.”

A spokesman from the council said: “We have been concerned for a while about Mr Munden’s intentions to run the cafe once it is repaired as he failed to turn up for meetings.

“He recently rang one of our officers to tell us he was surrendering his concession - he was asked to put this in writing but refused so we have accepted his verbal termination.

“We are now looking to get another concession in place so the cafe can be up and running once repairs are complete.”

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