Candyman left in sour mood after regulations force him to shut up shop

By Gregor Farquharson

Council regulations have left a Wishaw sweet shop owner with a bitter taste in his mouth.

Marc Welsh realised a long held dream when he opened up The Candyman on Kirk Road in May.

But after just eight weeks of trading, Marc was contacted by North Lanarkshire Council to say that he had to make a number of changes to his business, including fitting a toilet and installing new sinks.

Marc said: “I’ve been in a constant battle with North Lanarkshire Council to continue trading.

“They initially asked me to fit a toilet and install sinks. After this, they came back with more requests such as asking me to rip out my carpet.

“It was always one step forward and two steps back, I didn’t know what the problem was.

“There are lots of burger vans and other cafes which have similar facilities to us that are still trading.

“I’m a local lad who wants to offer something new to local people. Opening my own shop was a dream of mine and now it is being taken away.”

The council claims that Marc failed to register as a food business on time.

A spokesperson said: “New food businesses must register with the council 28 days before trading starts, to allow us time to carry out a food safety inspection of the business before it opens its doors to the public.

“However Mr Welsh did not contact us until the end of July when he had already been trading for some weeks.

Marc and his landlord fitted a toilet to try and comply with the council (Stuart Vance/ReachPlc)

“Mr Welsh was advised that he could continue to sell wrapped sweets but to sell ice-cream and slush drinks, he would need to install a sink and toilet facilities with the appropriate ventilation standards to comply with food hygiene legislation.

“A Remedial Action Notice was served on Mr Welsh to prevent him selling the high risk foods which were in stock at the shop.

“Ice-cream and slush drinks are high risk foods in terms of food hygiene legislation and require washing facilities and strict hygiene procedures to prevent product contamination and subsequent infections.

“Any new food business must ensure they have all necessary facilities in place before trading, and our officers provide one-to-one support, advice, and guidance to ensure businesses operate safely and in line with all legislation.”

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