Councillor gives support to Fareham hotel in refund row

PLEASED Cllr Paul Whittle
PLEASED Cllr Paul Whittle
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A COUNCILLOR has said a hotel that was embroiled in a row with a widower over a deposit refund is a good place and serves the community.

Fareham East ward member Cllr Paul Whittle said he is pleased the argument between Lysses House Hotel and Army veteran Eric Clifton, 78, of Swanmore is over.

It comes after The News revealed on Thursday that the hotel refused to refund £595 paid for a golden wedding party after Mr Clifton’s wife Joyce, 72, died eight weeks before it was due to take place.

She had suffered from myeloma, a form of cancer.

Hotel owner Colin Mercer apologised and agreed on Friday to pay back the cash and make a donation to Myeloma UK.

People in the community have raised hundreds of pounds before Mr Mercer’s decision to refund the cash. It will now go to charity.

Cllr Whittle said: ‘People were understandably concerned and we’ve all been touched by the fact that people have offered their help.

‘But it’s good to know there has been a good outcome and it’s a good place in our local community that serves us well.

‘I’m glad it enables Eric to move forward.’

As reported on Saturday, staff at Lysses House Hotel have suffered verbal abuse from people calling the hotel.

Cllr Whittle, who spoke to Mr Mercer on Friday, added: ‘While we appreciate people might have felt angry about it, it doesn’t help.

‘We should feel glad that a good outcome has been achieved and hope that people will not be angry about it.’

He added he sympathised with Mr Clifton as he lost his wife Deborah late last year.

‘I can relate to Eric’s sadness and difficulties,’ he added.