A rum do

Several Wanstead shops and cafes have been fined by Redbridge Council for making socially distanced space for customers on the pavements outside their shops.

They include the much-loved Wanstead Hairdressers on Woodbine Place – a shop which has been trading in this location for decades without problems.

When barbers were allowed to reopen after lockdown, everyone needed haircuts. Owner Paul Michaelides installed Perspex barriers separating the seats inside where customers wait in turn, and he also put some well-spaced chairs directly outside his shop where more people could wait safely. It all seemed pretty sensible.

However, Redbridge inspectors took photographs of the seats and issued £100 fines for the infringement. Other shops on the High Street which had reacted to the new need for social distancing faced similar actions.

Paul said: “Everyone needed a haircut after the lockdown, and we wanted people to be able to queue safely – we were doing the responsible thing when everyone is trying to keep their distance from each other. We have quite a few elderly customers and didn’t want to make them stand outside waiting.

“To get a fine without even being warned by the officer that we were doing something wrong was particularly annoying.”

Paul has appealed against the fine.

14 thoughts on “A rum do”

  1. I cannot express how annoyed I feel about this. A business closed through no fault of its own for over 3 months gets fined £100 for trying to make life a little more comfortable for its customers.
    LBR should be ashamed of itself

  2. LBR – their greed doth consume them. There is no point to this utter shower. Shops should be thanked for doing their bit in trying to make life easier for us to shop not FINED!

  3. I agree this seems so unfair. If Redbridge have spare enforcement officers then perhaps they can be used to fine people littering the Parks and Greens.

  4. So, if Paul had made his elderly customers stand in a queue, as per many shops in the High Street do, he wouldn’t have fined. Instead, he has been penalised for being considerate of the needs of others …

  5. Disgusting. If Resbridge want to fine people (which they shouldn’t be doing) they should go to The George. It’s heaving some nights. I know because my son goes there and I have also seen the numbers outside with NO social distancing. It’s not the fault of the shopkeepers it’s the customers. Fine them if you want to.

  6. This seems rather unfair – If the council thought this was the wrong thing to do they could at least have advised them and have a week to change it..Also what about the bus stop opposite – if people waiting for a bus sit there and fill the spaces up will the Council fine TFL – I doubt it….Come on Redbridge..[I would say Play the Game] but we know this is not a game.

  7. Disgusting, Paul in there one of the nicest guys in Wanstead, always smiling and generous to the homeless. You get a ramshackle fruit stall set up near the pies and mash shop and the council turn a blind eye when they seem to be able to erect wooden structures on the pavement without planning permission in a conservation area . Give the barber his money back. This is outrageous!

  8. Oh LBR what ever is the matter with you…this is stupid, selfish and greedy behaviour from a bunch of jobsworths. Swallow your pride and apologise, rescind this fine for heavens sake.

  9. I am incredulous at such an idiotic fine! Rank hypocrisy… have you seen how many people cram into the George and no fines are issued. Paul and his staff are some of the most community minded people in Wanstead, they regularly show exceptional kindness to the elderly and the homeless. My husband recently witnessed an elderly man who walked out after his haircut having forgotten to pay! Did they chase after him? No!
    Redbridge you dare so small minded! Yes

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