MAYOR of Craigavon, Alan Carson, explained that work commitments had forced him to cancel the meetings with Yellow Door proprietor Simon Dougan.
Mr Carson, who holds a full-time position with Almac, stressed that it had always been the intention to reschedule them.
“I have had to do the same with other local businesses. For instance I met Brian Irwin from High Street Mall five weeks ago but the original meeting with him had to be rescheduled. I am one of the few Mayors to take the initiative and meet local businesses and I try to do this while working full-time in my own job.
“I totally understand Mr Dougan’s frustration at the problems he is encountering and would be very happy to arrange another time to meet him to see if there is any way we can help, although it is the Department of Regional Development which makes the rules.”
An official statement from Craigavon Borough Council added, “The Mayor’s business visit to the Yellow Door will be rescheduled and was postponed due to Mayor’s work commitments. Council is in regular contact with all the businesses in the town including the Yellow Door not only from personal visits, letters and websites, but also through the Portadown Retail Action Group which meets monthly and is currently looking for more members.
“Any retailer who would like to join this group should contact the town centre manager. Council always looks to secure additional funding for town centres and this remains the case for Portadown.”
However, Mr Dougan hit back saying, “I am tired hearing the council saying they want to encourage business into the town, but then just passing the buck on issues like this.
“The council cannot simply do nothing. If they really want to encourage business they should help engage other government departments to solve problems instead of sitting on their hands.”