Barber battles council officials

Hairdresser Joe Nowoslawski wants to cut hair in his garage.
Hairdresser Joe Nowoslawski wants to cut hair in his garage.

A barber is leaving Dewsbury after 30 years – but says council officials are stopping loyal customers going with him.

The price of a haircut was just £1.30 when Joe Nowoslawski opened Joe’s Hairdressers in 1983.

Despite increasing competition, his shop in Crackendge Lane is still financially sound.

But Mr Nowoslawski wants to move into a makeshift studio in his garage to escape high rents.

He said: “It’s very hard out there. At the moment I’m lucky to pay myself minimum wage. I haven’t had a holiday in ten years.”

He said that covering the costs of his shop meant it was barely worth working.

The shop had been burgled 14 times since he opened, and his windows were smashed just last Thursday.

Mr Nowoslawski, 58, said he was determined to continue cutting the hair of clients he had served for decades.

But he said Kirklees Council was hampering his efforts by arguing he was setting up a shop at his Hanging Heaton home – a status which would sting him with extra costs.

“I just want to do a few hair cuts in my garage – why am I getting all this hassle?” he said. “Some of my customers are blind and 90-years-old.”

He said the battle with the council had forced him to consider giving up.

He said: “I can’t believe 18 square metres can cause so much grief. It’s been a nightmare.

“I’ve paid £30,000 to the council over the years. Now in the autumn years of my working life I’m getting this.

“It just feels like they are squeezing you all the time. I could put up a gazebo in my garden and there would be nothing they could do but they’re telling me I’m opening a shop.”

“I want to work but they won’t let me – thanks for putting me on the dole Kirklees Council.”

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “We are working with Mr Nowoslawski to try to resolve the situation.”