Bellend’s to leave WEE

Bellend’s Cafe, which has operated from the White Elephant Enclosure since 1894, has confirmed that it will not be renewing the contract when it expires in May.

Members of Smalltown and Dullbridge (SaD) Town Council’s White Elephant Enclosure Mismanagement Committee were appraised of the situation at their recent meeting. The news comes after the WEE Mismanagement Committee had considered three possible options for the cafe lease which is due to expire in May.

The Smalltown Culture and Arts Manager (SCAM), Susie Cookbook, advised Councillors that she had previously “undertaken an extensive study into running a bar in house in a similar size venue and it was not viable due to staffing costs and would also be very difficult to manage“, meaning that it would require her to do some actual work.

The second option to put out a tender to attract a cafe operator was also rejected as the Smalltown Administration Guru (SAG), Katie Global, would need to do some work to prepare a detailed specification for the lease terms, which would need to be written and agreed by Councillors and could take months or even years to confirm.

The accepted option was to agree to extend the lease for Bellend’s Cafe, but to increase the rent. This option only required someone to add an extra £1994 to the current agreement and was seen as the easiest way forward.

Unfortunately the operators of Bellend’s Cafe have thrown a spanner into the works by deciding not to take up the WEE Mismanagement Committee’s offer.

Instead, the SCAM and SAG will now have to look at alternatives and, given the speed at which work is carried out at SaDTC, this could lead to a period where refreshments are unavailable at the WEE, meaning that expected rental income will create yet another black hole in the WEE budget.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *