Barnstaple takeaway risks closing over £5,000 electricity bill
A Barnstaple takeaway could close within a week now that their electricity supplier has a warrant to cut off their power for having an outstanding bill of over £5,000.
The lease holders of Istanbul Takeaway, on Boutport Street, appeared before North Devon Magistrates' Court on Monday to contest nPower's application for a warrant to allow them onto the premises to disconnect the power.
nPower's representative from Utility Management Services Martin Loader told the court Istanbul Takeaway owed the company a total of £5,691.31.
The case had appeared before magistrates in September last year when Bernadette Ebcin, one of the takeaway's lease holders, claimed the reason they had not paid their bill was because the neighbouring pub Sherry's has been stealing their power through wiring in the roof.
£10 Off Every Pair of Binoculars Over £100 at J&A CamerasView details
We have the finest range of binoculars in the South West including ranges from Opticron, Meopta, Steiner, Leica, Hawke, Forest Optics and Swarovski. Come instore to give them a try.
Terms: Voucher for £10 off a binocular spend of £100 must be printed and presented instore at time of purchase. Only one voucher can be used per transaction. Voucher valid until July 31st 2013.
Contact: 01271 447066
Valid until: Wednesday, July 31 2013
Magistrates adjourned the case so evidence could be found.
But today the debt had increased and confirmation was given that Sherry's closed in November.
Mr Loader added the number of units being used by the takeaway had decreased since Sherry's closed but that the amounts they had paid in that time does still not cover what they are using.
He said: "Since the hearing the meter was investigated but there was no sign of tampering.
"There have been three payments, one in September, one in November and then a payment in January."
He added that before Sherry's closed the usage for the takeaway premises was up to £500 a month but now is around £300.
He said: "The trouble is they are not keeping up with those payments and the debt just keeps increasing."
Mrs Ebcin said the takeaway uses a total of around £314 of electricity a month.
She said: "I have tried numerous times to make an instalment plan with nPower but they won't listen. The leaseholder of Sherry's changed in November and they removed the wiring and all evidence of the tampering."
She added that they previously had a payment plan which was £102 a month which is why they have continued to pay at that rate despite the payment plan ending last year.
Magistrates issued the warrant and Mr Loader confirmed it would be likely for nPower to enter the premises within the next seven days if the debt had still not been repaid.