An ice cream seller whose business served summer treats for almost two decades has lost his patch to a rival trader based 65 miles away.
Terry Monaghan, who runs Terry’s of Cleveleys, was based on tow sites on Cleveleys Plaza and Rossall Promenade for 18 years, but will no longer be found serving ice cream, teas and coffees after Wyre Council gave a licence to Wirral-based Showtime.
The 62-year-old trader was outbid when the licence was put up for tender by the authority. He offered £4,300 for two pitches but lost out.
And he says he is angry the council has favoured a business which is not local and despite the fact customers called for him to stay.
Mr Monaghan, of Maida Vale, Anchorsholme, said: “I was absolutely gutted to lose the patches after everything we had done over the years to support such a good customer base and support Cleveleys.
“I understand the council want to generate as much money as possible but after 18 years of paying a realistic rent, we were willing to increase it to continue to be there.
“We used to go out in all weather to provide the service to a lot of elderly people in Cleveleys who want to sit in the car and look at the seafront with a cup of tea from us.”
The decision to not renew the ice cream van’s business was met with disapproval from the likes of Rossall Beach Residents and Community Group and Cleveleys Methodist Church.
A letter written by Rossall Beach Residents’ chairman, Jane Littlewood, said: “Our charity has been looking after the Rossall Beach section for around five years and in that time Terry has been helpful and supportive of our aims and ambitions.
“He has brought the kiosk to our beach in winter solely for the purpose of providing hot drinks to volunteers.”
Rev Michael Payne, of Cleveleys Park Methodist Church, on Whiteside Way, said: “I have worked for the last six and a half years as a Methodist minister and during that time have booked the seafront area for church and other community events possibly more than any other person.
“Terry has always been helpful and supportive in facilitating the use of the Plaza area around his business and has played his part in giving to and helping the community when there have been beach cleans and other activities going on.”
A spokeswoman for Wyre Council said: “Wyre Council supports local businesses but this must be balanced against getting best value for our assets and subsequently for our taxpayers. We are reviewing all council assets and while Mr Monaghan has had this pitch for 18 years it would not be fair to simply continue with that agreement without first considering other options.
“Bids were received from a number of local businesses and from businesses within the North West but unfortunately Mr Monaghan scored the lowest of all applicants.”