FENLAND: Councillor quits in protest after council approves sex shop licence for former Little Chef
EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY A COUNCILLOR has quit after his colleagues refused to back his calls to stop a disused Little Chef restaurant from being turned into a sex shop. Councillor Phil Wait quit his post on Fenland District Council following approval o
By JOHN ELWORTHY
A COUNCILLOR has quit after his colleagues refused to back his calls to stop a disused Little Chef restaurant from being turned into a sex shop.
Councillor Phil Wait quit his post on Fenland District Council following approval of a licence application by entrepreneur Tony Ibrahim to convert the Little Chef at Guyhirn on the A47 into the 'Kiss Kiss' adult only shop.
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Council leader Geoff Harper said Cllr Wait "was dissatisfied over the decision with the sex shop but there is nothing we, as a Tory group, could have done about it. The licensing committee which approved the application is a quasi legal body and it was always going to make its decision on its own and on its merits."
Cllr Harper said the shop had a retail use anyway and didn't need special permission to continue trading.
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He said the Tory group- which has 39 of the 40 seats on Fenland Council- sent chief whip Cllr Kit Owen to speak with Cllr Wait and thought the threatened resignation might have been withdrawn.
"But when I returned from the Conservative Party conference I found an email from Cllr Wait tendering his resignation," said Cllr Harper. "It's a shame since he was a promising councillor. I must say I am a bit surprised."
Cllr Wait only joined the council as the member for Wisbech St Mary and Parson Drove earlier this year following the death of Cliff Edwards.
It now means an almost certain second by election within a matter of months for the ward which Cllr Harper described as "not a cheap process."
Cllr Wait was unavailable for comment today but after speaking out against the sex shop at last month's licensing committee he said the " thoughts of where it is and the effects it could have on the village have not been taken into consideration."
He added: "It is the doorway to Fenland and the damage has been done.