Busman’s butties under threat!

Ready for a fight! L-R Louise Hillier, Katie Lamb and Lynsey Chant

The popular ‘Refreshers’ café at the town bus station on Upper Market Street is set to close as the council has refused to renew its lease – but the manageress and staff have promised to put up a fight they say will be no storm in a tea cup!

The council have told the owners that the premises are needed so the adjoining Sainsburys store can expand its existing operation.

Manageress Lynsey Chant explained:

“Originally when our lease came up for renewal we wanted a 10 year lease but that was refused …in the end all we were offered was six months from October and that expires at the end of this month.

We did ask for a rolling one month agreement as Sainsbury’s haven’t submitted any plans yet – as far as we know – but the council would not even let us have that .We have offered money – it has made no difference – they just want us out”

The café which is open six days a week has been a feature at the bus station ever since the buses started running from there. Through the years it has been regular haunt of bus crews, taxi drivers, passengers and local workers alike many of whom have been shocked to learn of the impending closure of their favourite café.

Kall Kwik printers have printed protest flyers for free and staff at nearby Wessex house have also voiced their support.

Lynsey has also emailed all 44 councillors – but it has only earned her a rebuke from council Leader Keith House who, she claims, told her she shouldn’t be doing that.

The only councillors to show an interest have been from the Local Area Committee.

Ms Chant claims members of independent group of councillors have offered advice and pledged support.

One local café user, a 54 year old who did not wish to be named, reacted angrily to the news of the proposed closure:

“This place was ideal for me for me for a cup of tea and bacon butty. First they pulled the lease on the ballroom now this. Next thing you know they will be booting out the bingo hall and the market”

Refreshers are asking supporters to email:

paul.ramshaw@eastleigh.gov.uk

to register a protest at the closure of the cafe.

Photo: ©Matthew Myatt 2011


  18 comments for “Busman’s butties under threat!

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    February 11, 2011 at 2:29 am

    First 😉

  2. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    February 11, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Ooohh! And the 500th post!! 🙂

  3. Save Sid
    February 11, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Here we go again..

    How much more community of this town will we loose before people stand up and say no more to this neo nazi council..!!

  4. Andy Lombardi
    February 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Here we go again..
    How much more community of this town will we loose before people stand up and say no more to this neo nazi council..!!  

    Your chance will come in the local elections. Don’t mess up, don’t split the vote.

    The Condems are not the answer.

    • lynsey chant
      February 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      your right, it is time to stand together and say NO!!

  5. lynsey chant
    February 11, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Thankyou for your support!

  6. bob the busman
    February 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Phoned the council to complain about this yesterday & got told no matter what the cafe will be closed as Sainsburys want it when i mentioned that i hear they also want the bingo hall the reply was so they can have that aswell it will stop people gambling & wasting their money in there as it is a business opportunity for Sainsbury’s to expand!

  7. Jenny
    February 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Omg. Is this the same council that refused Asda their planning application because it would have an affect on small businesses? I cannot believe this council and cannot believe that I once supported the Lib Dems. When are the people going to stand up and fight? Time to vote them out if you ask me and vote someone in that really cares for the small, community businesses. Someone elses livelyhood gone…fantastic and are Sainsbury’s going to guaranttee to only employ local people?
    like hell will they.

  8. PETER STEWART
    February 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    D O N O T S P L I T T H E V O T E ! VOTE UKIP!

  9. Andy Lombardi
    February 11, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    D ON O TS P L I TT H EV O T E !VOTE UKIP!  

    Then the vote will be split! With all the ex Tories voting UKIP and Labour voters, such as myself, realigning after the lies of the Libs we will see the Condems controlling Eastleigh and driving small retail businesses out.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      February 12, 2011 at 8:29 am

      Not tempted to vote Independent then Andy?

      • Andy Lombardi
        February 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm

        I was tempted by the lies of the Lib Dems at last years General Election. Considering that some of the Independants are ex Lib Dems I’d hardly be doing myself any favours by placing my cross against them now, would I?

        No, the Lib Dems are now a poisoned chalice, I shall never drink from it again.

  10. Gareth Hughes
    February 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    They are forcing the cafe to shut on the assumtion they will get the planning permission needed which they havent even applied for.

    First the cafe, then the bingo hall.
    Whats next. relocate the bus station to give them more room.

    Give the cafe there licence til at least the planning permission has been applied for and decided on.

    Hell, why dont sainsburys take the cafe and move it in store cause you know the plans will include there own cafe

  11. Graham Hunter
    February 17, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Here is a popular thriving local business that yet again Lib Dems on EBC are killing off as it does not form part of their dictorial style of politics.
    The people of Eastleigh should lobby EBC at any council meeting to make them think hard about refusing to transfer the lease, also remember everyone May the 5th is approaching fast. That is your chance to even out the the balance of power on EBC and get yourself heard again.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      February 17, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Here is a popular thriving local business that yet again Lib Dems on EBC are killing off as it does not form part of their dictorial style of politics.
      The people of Eastleigh should lobby EBC at any council meeting to make them think hard about refusing to transfer the lease, also remember everyone May the 5th is approaching fast. That is your chance to even out the the balance of power on EBC and get yourself heard again.  

      Graham is quite right.You need to lobby in person.There is a list of council meetings on the front page of this site. You don’t have to go nuts. If you stand outside and leaflet them as they go in, it would be a good start.
      It was people power that stopped development on Grantham Green and at Botley.

  12. Malcolm Clarke
    February 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I have had breakfast at the cafe virtually every Saturday without exception in the last three years. I have found the prices good, the staff friendly, the location excellent, and it is used by a lot of people.

    I only found out about the possible closure on Saturday (9 days before the intended closure), but have already emailed the council.

    I personally would like to see the council explain their stance on this issue in greater detail and/or at least acknowledge my email. If none of these are forthcoming then they certainly cannot expect me to lose something which has been an integral part of my life without trying to fight my corner.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      February 25, 2011 at 1:31 am

      You are Malcolm Clarke of Radio Spitfire and I claim my £5!! I thought that was you I was sat next to at the council meeting!

  13. Andy Lombardi
    April 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Phoned the council to complain about this yesterday & got told no matter what the cafe will be closed as Sainsburys want it when i mentioned that i hear they also want the bingo hall the reply was so they can have that aswell it will stop people gambling & wasting their money in there as it is a business opportunity for Sainsbury’s to expand!

    I have noticed, in the last few days, that the council have a notice pinned to the shutters at the cafe. It announces that the unit is to be refurbished and a franchise opened which will be an information centre able to serve refreshments. No meion of Sainsburys.

    So the poor girls who worked there, and provided a blessed relief for travellers by bus, are not only out of work but the only way they would earn their job back is by borrowing money to get involved in a franchise.

    No wonder the two main political parties in this borough are known as the ConDems!

Comments are closed.