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Weymouth HS4B shop is 'misunderstood'
2:30pm Thursday 2nd August 2012 in Local News
A NOT-FOR-PROFIT organisation supporting people in debt is challenging its critics to find out about its work.
A shop run by the group HS4B in Weymouth town centre has come under fire for the ‘clutter’ outside its premises in St Mary Street and for the inference it is a charity.
But the people behind it claim they have done nothing wrong and have invited people to visit the shop and find out about the work it does.
Dorset County Council confirmed it has advised the owner about positioning items on the highway but it is satisfied with highway issues relating to the shop.
Group manager for highways at Dorset County Council Martin Hill said: “We are satisfied that the position of items outside the shop is not obstructing the highway and is no different from other shops in the area.”
It follows an Echo article highlighting concerns.
HS4B director Ian Lambert has stepped down from his position but continues to help as a volunteer on a part-time basis.
He said while the organisation was not a charity it was not correct to call it bogus because it works in the same way.
It is a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC) with money raised supporting the work it does helping people who are bankrupt and in debt.
Following feedback, the shop sign proclaiming it is the cheapest “charity” shop in Dorset has been amended to include the fact it is a registered CIC.
Mr Lambert said the fact the shop handed out thousands of £2.50 vouchers to people and that it often gives away items for free to those in desperate need makes it the cheapest. Those in need are judged on a case-by-case basis and many people who are struggling have been given furniture, clothes and other goods for free or at reduced cost.
Mr Lambert added that it was unfair for people to single out the shop for putting second-hand goods for sale outside, saying: “Where do you draw the line? Why should we be discriminated against?”
He added: “I do think some people have misunderstood what we are about. I would say to them, come inside and find out about what we do.”