Shan Kambo of Homestyle in Wishaw Main Street
An angry shopkeeper has invited under-fire councillor Sam Love to look at his accounts after he questioned whether the man's business had suffered following the long-running roadworks on Wishaw's Main Street.
Shan Kambo is offering to open his books to the Labour representative so he can prove to him that profits have nose-dived by at least 35 per cent over the last six months.
In last week's Wishaw Press, Councillor Love sparked a row by saying he did not believe business for shops in the town centre was any worse now than it was before the town centre facelift began.
When Mr Kambo's concerns were put to the councillor he said: "Is that the shop in the old Woolies? That shop's never busy. Any time I go past I've never seen it busy. To be fair, the question has got to be asked: he's got accounts there and should be able to prove that. Did you ask to see his accounts?"
We did exactly that and the shopkeeper is now inviting the Wishaw councillor to talk with him and his accountant.
Mr Kambo said: "If he knows how to read business accounts, then I invite him here to look at my accounts.
"If he wants to slander my business in the Wishaw Press without any evidence, then what I'm putting to him is that I have evidence of a huge drop in business. Unlike him, I'm not making a claim without any knowledge or facts - the evidence is here.
"The 35 per cent I said last week is a minimum on the amount I'm down. There was a period where we were sitting on 60 per cent reductions in business a week."
Councillor Love said last week that he believes trade in the town is just as good now as it was before the works, sparking anger from local businesses.
However, he then admitted that he does not shop in the town.
Mr Kambo continued: "He says he's spoken to shops but what shops in the town say their business is better now than before? He then says he doesn't shop in Wishaw but somehow claims to walk by my shop and see it always lying empty.
"If he says Homestyle is always empty, then why has our business been in the town centre for 25 years? If there wasn't any business, then we wouldn't be here.
"Last week was the first time I've ever seen this guy's face. He's a councillor who is only in the paper when he's slating the town's businesses."
Loves comments at a Wishaw and District Area Partnership meeting drew a sharp response from other firms, including the Artisan restaurant, Carpet Clearance Centre and Freeland Solicitors.
We are unable to provide a comment from Councillor Love as he insisted that we "don't phone again".