The owners of a Montrose business have hit out at the way Angus Council has treated them, saying they feel “let down” by the authority.
Gail and Henry Pinder have run the Beach Cafe, on Traill Drive, for 17 years, which they operate with their daughter Alex.
The couple say they have been opening the toilets of the Traill Pavilion for around five years when Angus Council has not been, as the authority currently only operates the toilet provisions at weekends from March until the end of June.
The iconic Traill Pavilion, which celebrated its 100th birthday last year, was put up for lease by the council back in March.
The Review understands that three people went forward for the lease and that now there is a bid to turn the pavilion into an ice cream parlour and sweet shop.
Mr and Mrs Pinder put in an application to lease the shelter and say it was only advertised to be run as a toilet not as a business.
Mrs Pinder said: “Montrose doesn’t need another ice cream parlour it needs a toilet at the beach.
“It’s only a very short season from June to September, we’ve tried to run the business 52 weeks of the year but it just isn’t viable.
“It’s a small town with a small beach front and people only want to come to the beach when the weather is good.
“We’ve been saying for years to the council that someone needs to run the toilets.”
The couple added that they offered to run the facilities on behalf of the authority free of charge.
Mr and Mrs Pinder took over the Beach Cafe 17 years ago when the council began to build the Seafront Splash play area which neighbours their business and say they had an agreement with the authority.
“We were given sole concession by the council for a restaurant on Traill Drive 17 years ago. They have stabbed us in the back,” said Mr Pinder.
“It’s the principle of it. We feel disappointed and let down by the council,” added Mrs Pinder.
The businessman and woman say they have had abuse from members of the public over the years complaining about the toilets at the beach being closed.
“People ask us why the toilet is closed and if we have a toilet and we do for paying customers. Every time someone uses our toilet it costs us money for water, electricity and toilet paper.
“The council should be providing toilets at the beach more than just on weekends,” said Mrs Pinder.
The couple say as well as running the toilets at the Traill Pavillion they have also been the “eyes and ears” of the Seafront Splash, reporting any incidents to the council and providing first aid kits for families.
Mrs Pinder said: “We have done everything we said we would do and more but the council hasn’t.”
An Angus Council spokesperson said: “The council can confirm that the café owners don’t have exclusive rights to sell food on Traill Drive.
“There had been a couple of meetings with the café owners to discuss the possibility of the Traill Pavilion being run as a business.”
The authority also confirmed there has been no planning permission request submitted to convert the current usage of the pavilion.
The Review was unable to get in touch with anyone regarding the building becoming a ice cream parlour before the paper went to print.