AFTER serving Chelsea for many years, Picasso - a well-loved café/restaurant in the Kings Road - has become another victim of the recession.
One of the last straws that finally broke the business was the imposition earlier this year of Councillor Moylan's inspired tax on tables and chairs.
For many years, Picasso had three tables and 10 chairs on their own forecourt on a very wide section of pavement.
But Mr Moylan decided clutter should be removed from our streets. Picasso were told they would have to remove their tables and chairs unless they paid the council an annual licence fee of £700. This is a great deal of money for the cafe to pay for the privilege of using its own forecourt.
When I expressed this opinion to a relevant council officer, he replied 'they will have to sell a few more cappuccinos'.
Clearly, he had no idea of the difference between turnover and profit. To earn the £700pa in council tax, Picasso would need to sell about £7,000's worth of extra cappuccinos.
This is an example of the council's real impact on business, not the spin. Residents live in this part of London partly because of the character of the streets, exemplified by cafe tables and greengrocer's wares on the pavement. They do not want a DDR East Berlin-inspired, bleak streetscape.
Dr Gordon Taylor, Chairman, West London Residents' Association, Royal Avenue SW3 4QE