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Fears that the Maypole Inn, The Street, Borden, may have to close due to gas works

10 December 2013
by Andy Gray

The work is due to finish next month, but Kevin Richards, 55, fears it might be too late to save his livelihood.

He said: “It’s absolutely killing us. We’re coming up to what should be our busiest time of the year, but we’re not getting any lunchtime drinkers.

“Last Monday we had four customers and the Monday before we had two. We can’t shut the pub, we’ve just got to stand and wait. But if things don’t change we’re not going to be around much longer.”

Landlord and landlady Kevin and Lesley Richards

Landlord and landlady Kevin and Lesley Richards

Mr Richards, who has run the pub in The Street with wife Lesley for seven years, said his business is reliant on passing trade.

The gas repairs are being carried out in stages by Morrison Utility Services on behalf of Southern Gas Networks. The work started during the summer in Borden Lane and has moved to The Street, yards from the Maypole.

Mr Richards said it means drivers are having to take a two-mile detour to visit the pub.

He said he is currently in negotiations with the Maypole’s owners, Enterprise Inns, about a rent reduction to offset the current crisis.

Mr Richards said he is also applying to Morrison for compensation due to loss of trade which he claims he has been told will take three months to process.

“We could be gone by then,” he said. “The bills aren’t going to stop coming in for three months, are they? The pub’s our lifeblood, our pride and joy.

“We’ve got nothing to go to if it falls through, but we can’t keep throwing money at something which is losing money.”

Morrison Utility Services have not responded to requests for comment

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