SORRY WE ARE CLOSED....
The permanent closure of Whitstable Harbour Village. Official statement.
Despite some misleading reports to the contrary, we must confirm we were forced to close Whitstable Harbour Village on September 30th 2015. Whitstable Harbour Village is NOT ' re-opening' and is NOT being 're-instated'.
Sadly, it is our considered opinion, that Whitstable Harbour Village was deliberately and unnecessarily sabotaged by Canterbury City Council, who we believe abused their role as landlords and their constitutional obligation as a democratically accountable local authority to force us from our own business. We have grave concerns that Canterbury City Council essentially stole our successful community business and its goodwill which we developed from scratch over 7-8 years. We also believe they have offered it as a going concern via a hastily arranged public tender process, to individuals with whom they had been in secret discussions with for some months while the Village was still operating. We believe they intend to create a copy-cat operation and pass it off as our original business which we believe is highly unethical and potentially illegal.
These events are now the subject of an official complaint which was submitted to Canterbury City Council on 28 October 2015. We were advised the complaint would be considered by the Council's Chief Executive, Colin Carmichael, within 14 days but in took him 92 days to make any substantive response which was to deny any wrongdoing. The complaint was then referred to the local government Ombudsman on 9 March 2016, who is still in the process to examining the documentary evidence and officially investigating our claim for financial compensation. We are not permitted to comment on any part of that investigation.
We have lost our livelihoods and a successful community asset for Whitstable had been sabotaged for no apparent reason and the entire process was undertaken mostly in secret. We can only thank the thousands from near and far who supported our vision for local enterprise over the last 7-8 years and those many people from Whitstable who helped make it happen. We remain very proud to have created a unique asset for our town despite the numerous obstacles thrown in our path from day one to the very end.
Whatever new 'market' initiative that Canterbury City Council and their cronies may announce in the future, it has nothing to do with the famous Whitstable Harbour Village and we can only trust that 'whatever goes around comes around'.
Director, Kentish Trader Limited , founder of Whitstable Harbour Village
29 May 2016
SORRY, WE ARE CLOSED. Thank you to all who supported us over the years...