A MARKET town bookseller from Craven has been criticised by a parish council for behaviour it claims is “bringing the town into disrepute”.

Hawes Parish Council has said it has received more than 20 complaints about bookseller, Steve Bloom, who lives at Newhouses, near Horton in Ribblesdale.

The owner of Bloomindales, based in Hawes Market House, has been accused of being bad mannered to customers who refuse to pay his 50p entry charge.

Chairman of Hawes Parish Council Cllr John Blackie said members want the bookseller to change his attitude to customers – or to leave the town.

Cllr Blackie said: “I have received more than 20 letters of complaint in the last four years about the abusive behaviour of Mr Bloom – by letter, email and telephone.

“More recently we have had four, including one from a Dr Bates on holiday from Shropshire, who write to say he found his behaviour totally unacceptable and considered he was a discredit to the town and its other traders.

“Unfortunately, despite enjoying their holiday, Dr Bates and his two friends from Holland had taken the memory of a very unsatisfactory experience in Hawes away with them.”

Cllr Blackie said that the various complaints had been discussed at parish council meetings, and had been passed to chairman of the Hawes Market House trustees, Graham DiDuca, but that nothing had been done to end the rudeness to customers.

Cllr Blackie added: “The bookseller is a discredit to the good reputation of the town, he is letting the Market House trustees down time and again.”

Mr DiDuca said Mr Bloom was not doing anything to breach his contact so there was no reason to evict him. There are plans to erect a sign clearly stating the 50p entry fee, which is refundable on any purchase made.

He said: “The trustees are most concerned by the attitude of the bookseller to visitors of his shop. But we have sought legal advice and have been told his behaviour does not constitute a public nuisance.”

Mr Bloom has not responded to requests for a comment.