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Neon lights - Eco Cleaners Tower Bridge Road/Bermondsey Street

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Tuesday 4 June 2013 8.06am
I must also add that this address is within the Bermondsey Street conservation zone, which includes all property's along this stretch of Tower Bridge Road. Surely the council must act to have this sign taken down.
Tuesday 4 June 2013 9.44am
The LibDems having 'vision'? I very much doubt it, well not unless the 'vision' is a perverse version of their original principles - in coalition with the Tories - that leads to the systematic destruction of everything they claim to stand for - 'principles', my arse. Please let us make sure we vote Simon Hughes out this time. I foolishly voted for him last time and that was in spite of his odious past in Bermondsey: a big mistake that I will never ever repeat. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice ...

Rant over and yes the sign is bloody awful, take it down!
Tuesday 4 June 2013 9.52am
TDC wrote:
Good luck to them and anyone else who wants to invest and grow our neighborhood. My concern is that now we have two businesses (eco cleaners & Kaycee) and a neon billboard, which have disregarded planning rules, by extending advertising above the second floor. The council must enforce these rules and have them remove the offending signs. If not, this is how it could end up.

I think the Planning Dept needs more experienced staff, or more Enforcement Officers. I know you cant pay people to walk the streets, but if an issue gets raised it should not take a week for the sign to be switch off let alone taken down.
Tuesday 4 June 2013 10.55am
thomas wrote:
I must also add that this address is within the Bermondsey Street conservation zone, which includes all property's along this stretch of Tower Bridge Road. Surely the council must act to have this sign taken down.

If their refusal to enforce the advertising hoarding at the end of Trinity Street is anything to go by, the council tell me they don't have the resources to enforce planning violations for advertising!
Thursday 6 June 2013 8.14pm
The Council has sent a letter to the business asking them about the signage.

My view is clear - the signage above the ground floor is not currently permitted and the owners should either apply for planning consent in retrospect (which I believe will not be granted in a conservation area) or they should remove the signage.

Again today I went to collect a suit and a bag that I'd put in to be cleaned - they were both immaculate and didn't smell of that lingering "dry cleaning PERC" smell that you so often get at traditional dry cleaning places. The service was again very friendly and welcoming so I really do want this business to get things right and succeed.

I agree with previous posts that the 1st floor advertising should be removed, and I hope that once Mr Patel has done so we can celebrate an excellent local business which most of us environmentally-aware types would prefer to shop with - and hope that the other dry cleaning businesses locally will also switch to environmentally safe methods too.

Please let's all celebrate all of our shopkeepers in Tower Bridge Road and support them with our custom


ps - my ID on this website is plain and open - I don't hide my identity and go out of my way to give my contact details for those who may wish to contact me whether positive or not. Some commentators on this site are perhaps less transparent but I extend my utter respect to those posters who openly give their views in an attributable way.

If you don't agree with me then let me know - you can call me - you can meet me - I'll even come to you so you can tell me to my face. What I won't do is to stop championing people, businesses and communities in our area


Cllr Tim McNally
Libdem Member for Chaucer Ward
[email protected]
07903 967 809 / 020 7525 7157
Friday 7 June 2013 2.43pm
Not that impressed with their level of service either and more expensive than the others on TBR and elsewhere.
Friday 7 June 2013 5.01pm
Am died-in-the-wool apolitical but like your response Tim
Friday 7 June 2013 5.04pm
Hi Tim,

OK, fair enough, I think we'd all like to see shops in place of boarded up shopfronts. I am just curious as to why we need this specific business to survive? Is it the 'eco' bit?

I know the Lib Dems are traditionally behind this type of thing, although I did notice that Simon Hughes (who came to the opening with you, according to your previous post) voted against a clean energy target in the recent energy bill?

"ps - my ID on this website is plain and open - I don't hide my identity and go out of my way to give my contact details for those who may wish to contact me whether positive or not. Some commentators on this site are perhaps less transparent but I extend my utter respect to those posters who openly give their views in an attributable way."

btw, if this is aimed at me, then I assure you I'm also not a 'hidden' identity. I've no intention of giving my contact details out on a public website, but you can see from my posting record that I'm a long-established local resident, living on the TBR. I genuinely think that this inconsiderate, ugly shop-front is a poor addition to the areas aesthetics - it looks cheap and unwelcome. Yes, it's our job to do our bit for local business, but they should also strive to be good neighbours as well.
Friday 7 June 2013 8.46pm

Ive been following this thread since the beginning now, and I have mixed views. I live 2 minutes from the new Cleaners and have seen it a number of times a day, every day.

I have decidded to say something because of a comment above by CTina - otherwise I wouldnt have joined into the debate, however I can see something very unfair and prejudiced occuring happening here.

Firstly, @ CTina - I know for a fact that you are a highly unreasonable person who is publishing against these people and attacking their reputation for ulterior motives unbeknown to the rest of us (other nearby "vested interests" perhaps??).

I know this, only because I happened to walk into their branch just after you had left - and the person behind the counter (Mr Patel perhaps) was on th phone telling his other branch that if any customers are coming this way, to kindly let them know that the credit card pdq machine was faulty and a new one was on the way, so customers could either open an account or pay cash or pay via the website until the bank sorts the issue out.

He then followed with a brief synopsis of what had just happened with his previous customer (a lady known as "Christina"), who came to collect her item, and when she wanted to pay by card, was told politely by th proprietor that unfortunately the bank had sent a faulty machine, and he was more than happy for her to pay next time, whenever she was passing, or in any case whenever it was convenient for her.

To which, CTina replied (in Mr Patels words) "That is unacceptable, and this is very poor service - ... this is not good enough"... and thn apparently went on complaining to poor Mr Patel who had given absolutely every possible option to the woman.

And then she comes on here and says that she is not that impressed with the level of service!! How many other businesses let their (new and stranger) customer walk out in credit, on good faith of a spoken word??!!!! UNBELIEVABLY ungrateful.

CTina, you forget, you are, at English law, INVITED into the shop. They do not owe you anything. Once you use their service YOU OWE THEM and THEY ARE NOT obliged to take credit card only, especially if they have just opened and the bank sent them a faulty machine.

I cannot believe, also looking around the shop, that she moans about the price!! It is cheaper than across the road, and ALSO the machines look VERY expensive. Mr Patel kindly took me for a tour and explained the process. I saw the machines in action. I have seen other dry cleaners out back and I can tell you one thing, if other dry cleaners are actually cheaper, then it is plain to see why! They are filthy in comparison, and the machines are all 30 years old. These Eco Cleaners have the best machines Ive ever seen in a dry cleaners, and Ive been into some of the best in Belgravia and Mayfair.

So, before you all start casting metaphorical stones at his new shopfront, realise that his service benefits only one person - YOU.

I have mentioned that alot of people dont like the high shopfront - and he was very concerned. He had no idea that the sign would be taken in a negative way, he said he simply wanted to increase the modern look, brighten it up, and reduce the dilapidated condition of that corner.

And good luck to him for trying to improve OUR area.

Perhaps some of you have been too quick to cast aspersions.

In any case, he is considering all options and said he would MUCH rather his locals pop in and have a friendly informal chat with him, and share opinions, thoughts and feelings, rather that start campaigning against him, when he is only interested in providing the best service in his field.

As for the sign, it may not be to many people's taste, and it may be different to the rest of the shops there (ie it doesnt look run-down?? Take a look at West End, or any other international City, and see what lights mean in the grand scheme of things - one word - REGENERATION - I know, I have lived in Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York, and now London). The City, and its lights, spreads outward. This is a GLOBAL PHENOMENON - nothing exclusive to poor little Mr Patel in his single shop on the outskirts of Central London) - but in any case, he is listening - and more importantly - he cares.

Why not just go over and have a chat, express your views and concerns, and take a tour of the premises at the same time? You might learn something about Eco cleaning, and so perhaps will understand why this is a business worth supporting 100%.

Having met him, I honestly feel that Mr Patel would choose to take the sign down well before the authorities ask him to, if he actually hears it (politely of course) from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

As I said, I had no intention of saying a word on here, but Ctina and some of the comments on here were just getting ridiculous. Seeing as he refuses to entertain arguing online, and is more interested with cleaning our clothes (his words) I thought it about time someone spoke the truth - having actual first hand knowledge and experience and contact.
Friday 7 June 2013 11.36pm
Please excuse my typo errors guys, it's been a long week and I didn't have a chance to read through.

Also, I forgot to mention, that I too was somewhat perturbed by the fact that they claim to be eco friendly, but have these big lights on.

So I raised the issue with Mr Patel when I was there, and he took the time to explain and inform me that these are very expensive ultra low energy consumption items, and apparently the whole sign, top to bottom, consumes less than your average living room with spot lights and dimmers...

Whether they are or not exactly less than my living room, they must surely be somewhere in that league or thereabouts, which then got me thinking....

By using the sign to promote eco friendly and chemical free cleaning, very little energy goes into raising the awareness of thousands of individuals who are currently using a polluting and environmentally damaging method to have their clothes cleaned.

If the miniscule amount of electricity that goes into that one sign stopped the resultant pollution of 1000 people's dry cleaning over the next 5 years, I, for one, would be inclined to say that it is money well spent.

And the electricity in that sign can therefore legitimately be argued as actually having saved a huge amount of pollution - which, in my view, is definitely eco friendly.

As to whether or not it is ugly.. this is of course a subjective issue. A few of you mentioned it is cheap looking - well, actually, it is brushed stainless steel. I have considered all the comments and repeatedly analysed the sign as I walk past it (I did so again just now)....

It actually looks very expensive. Brushed stainless steel is expensive, and is used in the best signage throughout the world. And besides, I think it has served it's purpose very well.

After all, you noticed (and understood) the message, didn't you.

I, for one, would tend to be inclined to think of the bigger picture.

It is ultimately not about me, or you, or Mr Patel (apparently normal dry cleaning is more profitable and a quicker process - a point to consider perhaps before mis-judging these guys).

The point is to stop using chemically hazardous and earth-polluting ways and means to (perhaps rather selfishly) live our lives.

And if a lit sign helps in achieving that, then it can't be all bad.

On the other side, I strongly urge those of you who are unhappy about it, to pop in and let him know. He may, as I said earlier, take it down very quickly, if there are a lot of people who feel this way.
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