Council silent over fate of popular Northampton shop

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A Northampton shopkeeper says council officers have refused to meet with her directly more than a week after she was tipped off that her business would be forced to close.

Jaya Patel has run Nicky’s News general store in Little Cross Street, Spring Boroughs, for more than 17 years but was told informally last Wednesday that the plan to move her business down the road is now void.

Instead, she was told, her council-owned shop is to be demolished along with the rest of the row of buildings with no new premises built as had been promised.

As of yesterday no council officer had agreed to meet her.

She said: “Everything has to go through solicitors, which is going to be pretty expensive.

“I wish they’d just be up front and tell me and everyone else that the plan the whole community agreed to, with new houses and a new shop, has been ripped up.”

Mrs Patel has gathered several hundred names on a petition and has received letters of support from customers.

She said she feels the shop acts as a community hub, even going so far as to deliver groceries by hand to housebound customers and give some customers goods on credit.

Customer Carol John said: “My cousin is housebound and only has to ring Jaya up and she will deliver her shopping no problem. Which other shop will do that for her?”

Nathan Cumley said: “I’ve been shopping there for a decade and I know what a lifeline the shop is to people who need a little bit of credit to tide them over.”

A Northampton Borough Council spokeswoman said yesterday: “We will continue to liaise directly with the shopkeeper to discuss her concerns.”