Tea and sympathy for West Park cafe owner
A tea room owner has been besieged with support from customers shocked to hear she is closing up after being hit with an extra £2,500 bill by the council.
Lynn Jones says she has been overwhelmed by messages voicing anger and sympathy since she claimed she was forced to give up the lease on the Victorian tea room at West Park because of a rise in costs.
Some have called for 'urgent action' to enable her to stay.
Mrs Jones says she cannot afford to pay a new annual £2,500 bill for the upkeep of the intruder and fire alarms after taking a £13,000 hit in sales last year when the council allowed an ice cream van to park outside tea room.
Letters and emails have also poured into the Express & Star after the story appeared on Wednesday and packing for Lynn has also been shown on a special Friends of West Park Tea Room after news broke.
Kayleigh Breakwell wrote: "Absolutely gutted to hear the tea rooms are closing down. I love popping in when attending West Park with my family & friends.
"We have attended groups that use this fantastic facility and will be such a loss for it to close for good. Would be great for it to stay open such a great place for the community, for people to socialise and for groups to meet on a regular basis. "
Dawn Earp posted: "We were very saddened to hear of West Park Tea rooms closing. A visit to the park isn't complete without seeing Lynn and her team. We especially love the 'Breakfast with Santa' which we've been to with our children and taken friends to, over the last 5 or so years. Very shocked how it's been handled too, shame on the Council."
Anita Williams agreed: "This is so sad. We always visit the tea rooms when we go to the West Park."
The Facebook page describes the tea room as a focal point for park-users and the local community, and invites people to share memories of the tea room and 'how it makes a difference to the community.'
Reader M. Byrne wrote to the Express & Star: "I used to go there with my parents as a child, then took my children as they grew up, now I take my grandchildren there to play and have lunch when they visit. It’s always very busy, even on Sunday afternoons.
"Urgent action is needed immediately or it’s gone forever."
Wolverhampton City Council say it was Mrs Jones' choice to give up the lease and that the tea room would not necessarily close down because she was leaving it.