I had the rather bizarre experience of being refused service in a local shop the other day. It wasn’t because I was previously suspected or caught shop lifting, or even because I had a made a scene on a previous occasion because of a defective purchase, or poor service no, it was because I was a district councillor, or more accurately, ‘I was from the council’.
The shop in question is called the Lincolnshire Gallery, located in Swan St Spalding. The owner, Derek, has apparently left instructions with his staff, that nobody from the council is to be served. This short-sighted and seemingly ill-tempered directive is, I suspect, based on the outcome of a couple of recent planning applications. Both applications were on the same site and both were refused. Given that at least one of the applications was refused on appeal by a planning inspector, I wonder if Derek has also written to Bristol, where the Inspectorate is based, to tell them that they are not welcome in his shop? Also, whilst he’s at it, he might as well drop a no thank you card to the minister Eric Pickles, as the planning inspectorate works for him!
Of course any shop owner has the right to choose who he or she serves. However, given that the council employs hundreds of people and at least some of them are likely to want to purchase art supplies occasionally, this is a classic case of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.