PUB landlords and business owners have slammed Bolton Council for leaving town centre pavements covered in snow.
Pubwatch chairman Michelle Parkinson, from the Blue Boar in Deansgate, said licensees contacted her on Saturday morning because they were worried about the amount of snow on the pavements in Churchgate and Bradshawgate — the town’s night time hotspots — despite extreme weather warnings being forecast days earlier.
But the council said the pavements had been gritted.
She said: “Bolton was horrible on Friday night. It was dead — nobody was about. All pubs suffered when it snowed.
“Churchgate was a mess on Saturday and nobody could walk on the pavements.”
Steve Hoyle, licensee at the Brass Cat in Churchgate, said landlords would want a reduction in rates after being let down. He said: “I pay £44,000 per year to the council and what are they doing for me? I had to shut my premises on Friday at 9.30pm.
“All of Bradshawgate shut early. People couldn’t even get to their cars.
“We are all looking for a reduction in our rates. It’s the service we are paying for, but what are we paying for if the country comes to standstill when it snows?”
Neil Piper, licensee of the Dog and Partridge in Bark Street, said his business rates had tripled within two years but he gets nothing for it.
He said: “The council gritted on Friday afternoon near the pub but they didn’t do the pavement.
“I gritted the pavement myself. The roads were clear on Saturday but not the pavements.
“I lost a fortune on Friday night.
“I took a third of what I would normally expect.”
The owner of Town Cafe in Deansgate, Adam Simseck, said the council should have done more to encourage people to the town despite the bad weather.
He said the condition of the pavements over the weekend was the worst he had ever seen. A council spokesman said: “We can confirm that we pre-gritted both Bradshawgate and Churchgate pavements on Friday, while on Saturday, all available resource was placed on gritting and snow clearance around the town centre, including these two areas.”