Pop-up shop saved by Council Leader

A temporary shop that failed to apply for a correct licence was saved by the boss of the council department that closed it. The pop-up Co-op in Middle Road, Park Gate was opened as the main store closed for a three-week refurbishment. It was shut down by highways officers after it failed to obtain a licence from Hampshire County Council in time, much to the disappointment of elderly residents living in the nearby Raglan Court sheltered housing. County Councillor Seán Woodward stepped in and saved the store from closure by helping them negotiate more time. Tina Maggs, who lives nearby, said: “I called Councillor Woodward and he attended within minutes to see the issue for himself. I am delighted that he responded so quickly and sorted the problem out for us all.” Councillor Woodward, who is in charge of roads at the County Council, agreed it was necessary to take a pragmatic view given the temporary nature of the shop and the needs of elderly residents, many of whom couldn’t walk further to buy necessities. He said: “While technically Co-op breached the rules and should have obtained a licence, I agreed with highway officers that they could stay open and gave them 48 hours to obtain the necessary licence. “My priority is to help the elderly residents to enjoy the basic service that Co-op has been thoughtful enough to provide for a few weeks while their store is refurbished.”

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