Mayor and shop owner in charity market clash

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Rasen businessman Rob Jacques has denied swearing at the mayor while complaining stalls for the mayor’s charity market was blocking access to his shop.

“I wasn’t swearing. I was telling them how unhappy I was,” Rob told the Rasen Mail.

The owner of Jacques Home Hardware said stalls were erected early Friday morning, even though the market did not start until 4pm.

“I was very upset because there were five stalls side by side outside my shop and all had backs. Our shop was completely obliterated,” he said.

The trader claims this was “payback” for not giving the mayor a raffle prize for his fundraising - something Mayor John Matthews denies.

“There’s no regard for businesses in this town. Somebody said I wasn’t being very charitable. I’m a business. I’m here to keep people employed. It may be one night a year but they should have more thought for people other than themselves,” Rob said.

He plans to write and complain to the Town Council and also to West Lindsey.

“These are who I pay my business rates to,” he added.

Town mayor John Matthews said he was not bothered to have a prize from Rob as only two other businesses refused. The mayor accused him of being “petty and pedantic” and using “colourful” language. The market raised £1,205 for charity.