'Significant changes' will be made if Jurassic Paddle Sports agrees to continue

PUBLISHED: 12:38 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:53 27 November 2019

Maddie Todd, Guy Russell, Livi Mclennan and Josh Roberts at Jurassic Paddle Sports

Maddie Todd, Guy Russell, Livi Mclennan and Josh Roberts at Jurassic Paddle Sports

Archant

The future of a popular Sidmouth seafront business remains undecided - and it has emerged its troubles were sparked by just two complaints.

Guy Russell, owner of Jurassic Paddle Sports, said he is unable to take bookings for 2020 until he makes a decision about the business's future.

Members of the public and customers rallied to the business's aid last month, after Mr Russell said its future might be 'rocky' as he tried to secure a new concessions licence.

Details of the complaints made about the business have been revealed by East Devon District Council following a freedom of information (FOI) request. The council has revealed it received a phone call and an email about the business.

The first complaint was about the equipment and presentation of the business and the other was in regards to the business's use of social media to say it provided a public lifeguard service.

In response to the FOI request, EDDC wrote said: "[A] complainant was concerned that Jurassic Paddle Sports were trading from the beach without the rights to do so such as selling goods (wetsuits, snorkels etc) from their 'pitch' which is expressly prohibited by their agreement.

"[A] complainant was concerned that Jurassic Paddle Sports had used social media to confirm that they are providing a public lifeguard service, that this service is being funded by crowd funding and that any lifeguard service on East Devon beaches (such as that provided by the RNLI) should have all the correct safeguards in place regardless of whether it is voluntary or professional."

The council said it investigates when issues with its concession holders are reported.

Mr Russell posted on the Jurassic Paddle Sports Facebook page, thanking people for their support, enthusiasm and energy.

Concerns for the business's future prompted 3,000 people to sign a petition calling for it to stay. EDDC offered the business a three-year concession.

Mr Russell said he has met with the council but nothing has been decided or signed.

Mr Russell said: "Jurassic Paddle Sports is humbled by and extremely grateful to the people who have shown us such great support. Jurassic Paddle Sports is working with EDDC to reach a solution to renew the concession. There will be significant changes to the day to day running of the business if we agree on a licence and continue."

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