Ramsgate hairdresser unable to open salon for over five months due to sewer collapse now in dispute over loss of earnings

Marcello, with his salon still being reinstated, says he needs to be compensated for the continued closure of his business

A Ramsgate hairdresser who has not been able to return to his salon for some five months due to a sewer pipe collapse says he is now embroiled in a row with Southern Water about loss of earnings.

Marcello Marino, who has owned his salon and home in West Cliff Road for more than 30 years, said it all started with a sewage leak in September 2022 which caused disruption to his business on the ground floor.

In September last year Marcello was told the building was not safe and the shop would have to be closed. Two weeks later Marcello, his wife, two girls and baby son had to leave their home on direction from the water company.

The work to the collapsed pipe has been completed and the family were eventually able to return to their flat, above the salon, last month but Marcello has not been able to reopen his business as it is still in the process of being reinstated.

How the salon looked before the sewer pipe works

The 54-year-old said: “They won’t pay any more loss of earnings. I’m fuming. They said before they would cover it but now say I have to go to my insurance company.”

Reinstatement works are yet to be completed

Marcello says he has received around £8,000 with the majority of this to cover accommodation and food while the family were unable to return to their home. He says around £3,500 has been for loss of earnings.

He said: “£3,500 for five months of my business being shut and now (payments) are stopping and I have to go to my insurance company. I cannot open my business for maybe another five or six weeks but I have bills to pay.”

Marcello says the reinstatement is taking longer than hoped for because he wants it returned to the condition it was in before the sewer pipe works were carried out rather than accepting a cheaper standard of decoration.

Southern Water says Marcello’s insurance should now cover costs as the sewer pipe section is private and therefore his responsibility even though the water firm has covered the cost of repairs.

Marcello disputes ownership of the pipe section saying Southern Water’s lining contractor confirmed the section is not a private asset but ‘a shared pipe’ that was the water company’s responsibility. A recording of  the conversation has been shared with The Isle of Thanet News.

A Spokesperson for Southern Water said: “We understand the disruption caused by our works to locate and repair a collapsed sewer. The safety of our customers is paramount, which is why it was necessary for this family to temporarily move to other accommodation previously.

“Following an investigation, we discovered the section of sewer that required repair is a private asset belonging to the property owner – however we carried out the work and have covered the costs involved in this.

“Working with a number of suppliers, we’re moving as quickly as we can to complete the reinstatement of the customer’s premises and have paid for the alternative accommodation and contributed to costs of living during this time.”

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay has now taken up Marcello’s case. In a letter to the hairdresser it says: “We have taken up the matter directly with Southern Water, asking them to expedite both the repairs and the compensation for loss of earnings as a matter of urgency.”

Ramsgate hairdresser’s business disrupted and family forced to move out of home due to collapsed sewer pipe

7 Comments

    • Marcello is a lovely man, very good hairdresser and charitable individual (every year he cut hair cheaply at the Addington Street Fair and gave the proceeds to charity). Southern Water are behaving despicably and what they are offering him is a pittance, they should be ashamed of themselves

  1. He should just open his business and carry out his work to get some money coming in. There are decorators who will work evenings. He can negotiate with SW while working can’t he?

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