Flood hit Bury St Edmunds gift shop re-opens amid criticism of St Edmundsbury Borough Council

Mayor Terry Clements with the staff of Loft and Spires at the reopening of the shop at the start of November PICTURE: Mecha Morton

The owners of flood-hit gift shop Loft & Spires have hit out at the lack of response from St Edmundsbury Borough Council as they tried to chase up progress on their damaged building.

The shop under Wetherspoons in the former Corn Exchange building was severely damaged by flooding in July and August and re-opened last Saturday.

Loft and Spires has reopened with the Mayor cutting the ribbon PICTURE: Mecha Morton

But Romy Abraham who with partner Julian Milton has been running the business in the town for the last 10 years said the council’s lack of response was ‘outrageous’.

Romy says the council delayed in submitting the claim and refused to speak to her when she tried to chase up matters.

The building is owned by the council but leased to a main lessor and the shop sub lets from them.

Romy said: “They left us out to dry. It has been a complete and utter shambles. I am so very angry with them. In the end our insurance company had to take over due to the council’s delay.

“There was zero communication. It has been so frustrating.”

A spokeswoman for the council said “We passed on the claim promptly to our insurers for them to talk to the business and their insurers.

“However, we are concerned to hear the issues raised by the business and are talking to our insurers to make sure this is dealt with as quickly as possible and to understand if the process has been delayed and why.”

The store was opened by St Edmundsbury Mayor Cllr Terry Clements and offered 10 per cent discounts over the weekend. It is also donating 10per cent of its weekend turnover to Macmillan Cancer Support and St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Romy praised her staff who worked flat out decorating the store and said she had been overwhelmed by support from loyal customers.

“I was taken aback by how many people came in and showed their delight at how the shop looks.”

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