Barnsley councillor resigns after town centre bars closed over unpaid rent

A Barnsley councillor has resigned this week after the council closed two of his bars over unpaid rent.
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The Salt House and Black + White in Barnsley’s town centre Glass Works scheme were taken into Barnsley Council’s possession on October 23.

The council say that True Independent Group, which runs the bars, have ‘substantial unpaid rents of over £100,000 across the leases for both premises’.

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Darton East Liberal Democrat councillor Mat Crisp, who runs the True Independent Group, has now resigned from his seat on the council.

The Salt HouseThe Salt House
The Salt House

Mr Crisp had already announced that he would not be re-standing at next May’s elections, and the seat will remain vacant until then.

Mr Crisp said: “The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for me, my family and all my employees.

“I also recognise the pressure that the situation has placed on my Lib Dem colleagues.

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“I have therefore decided to resign from my role as councillor with immediate effect.

“I hope that this will allow the Lib Dem team to focus on the fantastic work they do without facing further questions and interrogation about my business.

“It will also allow me to safeguard my own mental health and to focus on my family.

“It has been a huge privilege to be elected and to work as a councillor for the residents of Mapplewell, Staincross, Darton, Windhill and Woolley Colliery, alongside my colleagues Cllrs Steve Hunt and Dickie Denton.

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“I have seen first-hand the difference that a hard-working Lib Dem councillor team can make to their communities, and think it is best that I step away now to allow the team to focus on working with and for their residents.”

Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Hannah Kitching said: “I have been very clear that this matter is a personal and business one, not a political one.

“However I understand the immense pressure that the last few weeks have put onto Mat, his family and also his Lib Dem colleagues.

“Mat feels that it is no longer possible for him to continue to work as an effective local councillor and member of the group, and so I haveaccepted his resignation. I wish him all the best for the future.”