Who Is No Help At All.
I recently asked Nick Small if he would meet with the shopkeepers of India Buildings who were having a horrid time because of the inefficient and ineffectual builders that saw the pavements blocked and at least 10 holes dug in the streets outside their shops.
Nick Small is the assistant Mayor of Liverpool.
I had heard that the builders had bought the streets around India Buildings from the council for a year. Purchasing out all the parking bays and having Fenwick Street closed. This seemed the reason why all the local shopkeepers were struggling. Business was down significantly.
He did not willingly return a call.
It was only when I was put through to the Mayors office while calling the Labour Party offices that he called me back and arranged to come out and see those shopkeepers, struggling in his ward.
He turned up 30 minutes late and one shopkeeper had to leave right away as they had an appointment booked.
Then right from the off he started shouting at the other small business owners who were worried about their livelihoods and wished to talk to him.
I could not believe it. I tried to calm him down and not get him wound up but there was something wrong with him. Nobody behaves like that in public office.
I took him into Mr Gazali's newsagent, City News, saying to him this poor guy is being stripped of his ability to trade by the pavements being closed. Also there were obstructions and numerous signs blocking the way people walk.
The council had placed signs in a most inappropriate way, that did more to hinder movement than assist.
The main sign was a massive one saying Access to SHOPS Only.
That was, in the way and where it was placed, was actually blocking the Water Street Merseyrail entrance. To make things worse the council placed several more signs in front of it with arrows marking that pedestrians should walk around the signs that did not really seem to be in the right place anyhow. There did not seem to be anyone thinking about the situation at all.
Just have a word with this poor guy I said he may not be here that long if it continues like this.
“Well we will get other shops in here when the building is done up”
I stood there in disbelief to what I had just heard. My mouth dropped. I had asked him out to help and he had, it seemed to me, come out with an agenda that was hard to understand.
In City News along with another shopkeeper and he insulted them. The shopkeeper spoke English as a second language and luckily for him, he did not get the full gist of his tone. But I did, and it stank.
After a short while of him mouthing off in front of customers we walked out, mainly so I could try to calm him down.. He was out of control. I could smell alcohol on his breath and I wondered if he was drunk.
Then when we got outside he continued arguing with the Drury Lane shopkeeper and she said “I am not listening to you anymore I have had enough, you are in another world. “We are all micro businesses and we cant afford to lose money because of all this” she said and stormed off.
“What are you doing” I said “you cant come out to see people and then insult them like this”
I took him back into my shop and he would not stop.
“I cant see what the problem is” he said “The newsagents was busy then when I went in”
“Mr Small three people in lunchtime one bought a Mars Bar do you know there is only about 5p profit on a Mars Bar. The other bought a packet of ciggys and the profit margin is about 2% on them”
He would not stop, he continued droning on about how this development of India Buildings has to work.
I told him that I understood that and had moved from Holts arcade to Water Street to enable the development to happen but this way of treating the small shopkeepers was not good and we are looking to the council for help otherwise we would lose our lively hoods. He was not interested.
“Calm down Nick I kept telling him I have not invited you out for an argument but to try to help us”. He would not stop on and on he went without any questions asked. I nearly threw him out the shop so annoyed was I.
“Lets have a look in the street” I said to him, and we went outside. I couldn't get his attention on the problem.
He was not interested at all. He had another agenda, and it was not to help us. Or even listened to us. I called a member of the public over at random and asked him what he thought. “I walk here everyday and this is dangerous” he said “People are walking out into the road right from the station entrance. People walk in a way they are used to.”
He then started arguing with him. I stood there with my mouth open disgusted. The man went after being bemused that I had entered him into an argument in the street, especially as I had said he was the assistant Mayor.
I turned to Mr Nick Small and told him.
“Mr Small I am disgusted by your attitude. Have you been drinking”
He shook his head and said “No”.
I was not convinced.
“Mr Small to have a Labour Councillor who is not in the slightest bit interested in the small businesses who have been trading in the locality for 20 years.......”
He tried to interupt “No you are a disgrace to the Labour Party, you really are, I wonder just how you speak to the owners of the building no doubt you dont shout abuse at them when they are trying to make money do you”?
He tried to intimidate everyone present in a disgraceful and disrespectful way that leads me to believe he has his own agenda and that he does not care in the slightest about anyone other than the developers of India Buildings
I really have to question his motives.
The newsagent was evicted two weeks later and the other shopkeeper has been forced out by the dispicable Landlord of India Buildings. The Post Office has also been forced out and I am currently fighting eviction by the most unscrupulous sort.
“Thanks for your help Nick. Or not. Lawrence Kenwright has got the measure of you alright. You were a complete waste of time. Behaved with no respect for the people who get you elected, your constituants.
And stop drinking while you are representing the council.
You should be ashamed of yourself you nasty little, or small man.”