Hartlepool bar owner slams Church Street works for impact on businesses

Linda Baker runs bar Reflections on Church Street.
Linda Baker runs bar Reflections on Church Street.

A Hartlepool business owner has slammed council improvement works on Church Street, saying it has made trading ‘absolutely dreadful’.

Linda Baker, owns bar Reflections, has said she has been left with no other option but to shut up shop while the work is being carried out.

Linda, from Clavering, has run the bar for the last eight years, and cited loss of earnings as the reason for the temporary closure, saying she is not getting any punters in to cover the costs of opening.

She said the situation is so bad that she can’t afford to pay her five staff to come and run the bar while the work is ongoing.

She said: “It is absolutely dreadful. I made the decision to close the bar five weeks ago and haven’t opened at all since then as it is totally pointless.

“It is a weekend venue, so is normally open Friday to Sunday, and we would get more than 150 people each night.

“But since the work started there is no-one around and one of the nights I was open I only took £41.

“I think we need some sort of compensation because there has been a loss of earnings for business owners and we still have bills to pay.

“I have had to take from my own pocket to subsidise the business.”

Fellow business owner Stephanie Aird from Stephanie’s Cafe-Bar-Shoppe has also hit out at the council works saying it is driving custom away.

Earlier this week a Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said the council has helped 28 businesses on Church Street via the small business rate relief scheme. The council said: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the construction work.

“Recent poor weather conditions have caused a delay, but phase one is now nearing completion and other phases will follow on when they are complete.

“The Economic Development Team is in the process of making arrangements to meet with small businesses in the Church Street area to determine if these works are having an impact.

“We will then consider potential options to support businesses on a temporary basis if this is necessary.”