PLANS to set up a rival community shop in Hardwicke after the only convenience store in the village was left with bare shelves have flopped.
The village’s shop, which is also home to a post office, in Elmgrove Road East, has been running out of stock for weeks leaving residents baffled and worried.
Store bosses have failed to replenish many of the bare shelves.
When Quedgeley Methodist Church planned to buy the nearby former Starting Gate pub, talks surrounding the opening of a rival village store were going well.
But the sale of the pub to the church has since fallen through.
A new church and community building had been planned.
Church leaders presented their plans to Hardwicke parish councillors.
At the time, parish clerk Kevin Lee said: “The parish council was pleased to learn of the church’s interest in taking possession of the site. Possible additional services that could be provided from the premises were also discussed.
“We asked whether the church would consider running other community services such as a store from the site. Representatives from the church agreed that this may be an option.”
The future of the village store still lies in peril.
Councillor David Mossman, chairman of Hardwicke Parish Council, said: “Our present village store is not being run correctly and looks as if it is about to close despite the assurances of the present lease holders.”
One worker at the shop said: “I have worked in the shop for nearly five years. It started going down hill in May. We had no deliveries and have received no wages since June.
“We kept working to keep the local shop open as it is very important to many local people.
“Many of us have left as we could not live on fresh air. They still owe some of us wages from July, August, September and October. I even had to move as I could not pay my mortgage.”
The leaseholder of the shop is a pension fund. A spokesman for the fund previously said: “There have been discussions to get an agreement which keeps the shop open and to secure a long-term agreement.”