SANDHURST Town Council has been accused of trying to get the Coffee Spot in the Memorial Park closed by the back door route of imposing onerous new conditions in a new contract for the operators.

The Coffee Spot was only saved last month when the council did an about turn after an unprecedented show of residents' rage that had culminated in a stormy meeting lasting nearly two hours. But former Mayor Ray Earwicker believes that the 100 per cent Conservative council still aims to close it.

At the recent council meeting he failed to get councillors to spill the beans about the new contract, which has still to be signed. He asked if the terms of the renegotiated contract were to be any more onerous than the previous one.

The Deputy Mayor, Coun. Audrey Shephard, said details of the contract could not be released and Coun. Dale Birch said they were "not at liberty to divulge any information" on the talks.

Coun. Shephard said the Coffee Spot operators would be treated as fairly as anyone who applied for a contract but the details were "not for the public to take on board."

Residents' spokeswoman Mrs Val Crosby- Clarke asked for assurances that the public would be better informed in future about the developments which led to the threatened closure. Mrs Shephard agreed that people felt they had not been informed and said the town council would try to rectify that in future.