Businessman's sorrow over '˜bad experiences'
A Worthing businessman turned councillor has apologised to those who had a '˜bad experience' at the watersports firm he founded.
Antony Baker said he has closed Baker Academy, at East Kiosk, Beach Parade, after helping thousands have a positive time on the water. But former customers have expressed dissatisfaction over their experience.
Mr Baker said: “For those that could not get to fully understand that we run a weather-permitted business which relies on our not so perfect weather I am sorry – I hope you continue your watersports experience with another of our awesome local businesses.
“We serviced over 10,000 people during our time on the coast and again I am sorry to the few people that had a bad experience.”
Mr Baker was elected as a Conservative councillor in the Worthing Borough Council elections in May.
He was suspended from the party days later, shortly after the Herald asked him questions about official documents, which appeared to show county court judgments against him and Baker Academy.
West Worthing Conservative Association chairman Tom Wye confirmed Mr Baker would be able to reapply for party membership in the new year.
Mr Baker said: “I took the role as councillor as I wanted to be able to put Worthing on the map in the watersports world as I have a pretty great feeling about our town and what it can offer to people all over the world.”
Mr Baker told the Herald in May he sold the business to another company in October, 2015. It was later rebranded as ‘Hydro Watersports’.
Two customers have claimed they dealt directly with him in 2016, paying funds direct to his bank account.
Jackie Verrall, of Shoreham’s English Language Homestays, said she agreed a partial £210 refund after cancellations of paddleboarding lessons for her foreign exchange students, paid for in June.
She confirmed the full amount was refunded last month.
Joshua Craigie said a £1,200 refund was paid-off on Sunday. He claimed he received only a few lessons part of a year-long, ‘unlimited’ lesson package in May, costing £1,850.