At the beginning of February I was approached by constituents about the potential termination of Barista’s lease leading to the possible exit of Barista’s from the Aberavon Shopping Centre. I immediately took up the case writing to the centre management and to Edinburgh House Estates, who own the centre, urging a positive resolution and offering my help. The situation has since developed and the owners of Barista’s have been informed the lease will not be renewed.
I have also met with one of the owners of the coffee shop, Ray Oglesby and have offered him my full support. Over the coming days I will be meeting with James Neathercoat from Edinburgh House Estates in London and will be pressing them to reconsider their decision and allow this local family business to remain at the heart of the shopping centre.
As the end of the lease approaches negotiations between the Barista’s and the owners are at a delicate stage and need to be handled carefully. Protests and petitions are all well and good, they have shown the strong support the business has in the community, but what’s more important at this late stage is the negotiations and focussing on a positive outcome for this local business.
I am committed to keeping the ownership and management of local businesses in the hands of local people. Barista’s is a popular local business, well-liked and well-used by locals as a place for socialising and meeting. Its loss from the shopping centre would be widely felt in the community.
MP for Aberavon