Coronavirus, Mirror Coronavirus Heroes, Food Banks

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Lockdown enforcers swoop on tattoo studio but are left surprised

Lockdown enforcers swoop on tattoo studio but are left surprised

4/9/2020 11:11:00 AM

Lockdown enforcers swoop on tattoo studio but are left surprised

Jason Powner also runs a food bank from the tattoo parlour, called SkinJase, in Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent but coronavirus lockdown enforcers were unaware of this

Jason Powner, 50, has been busy putting together food parcels to deliver to the elderly self-isolating due to Covid-19.He uses his tattoo parlour, called SkinJase, as a hub to prepare parcels and as a drop-off point for donations, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.

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But environmental officers from Stoke-on-Trent City Council yesterday carried out a spotcheck after receiving a tip-off the tattooist was still working.Do you have a coronavirus story to share? Email webnews@mirror.co.ukIn a scathing post on Facebook, Jason, of Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, described the tell-tale as a "neanderthal".

"I just had a call from the Environmental Health and a visit from suits and clip board," the charity champion wrote."They said 'we have received a couple of complaints from very worried members of the public that your still open'.

"I replied that 'Yes, that's right we are open'."They then said 'Oh can you tell me how your tattooing from the safe two-metre distance."I told them 'Yes, of course I use a broom stick with f***ing duck tape at the end of it, not the best tattoos I've done but gets me through these rough times'.

"I then went on and said 'I have a question for you, I've been out of work like most for three weeks and still have not received a f***ing penny from the state after you closed us all down?'."I told them to 'Please Google the name SkinjJase and you'll find out why I'm open'.

"I added 'now please remove yourself from my studio and please tell the certain member of the public he/she's a neanderthal'."Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will start in8Cancel Play now SkinJase is one of 92 businesses in Stoke-on-Trent which have been visited to censure they are complying with new legislation in the wake of the pandemic. In 28 instances, environmental health officers issued advice.

But Jason, who has spent a decade helping families and charities across the city including raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for worthy causes, struggling families and poorly children, feels the council has been overzealous.He said: "Apparently they received a complaint and it wouldn't surprise me if it was malicious.

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"I know the council is just doing its job but I'm well-known for what I do in the community. If they'd just done a little bit of research and typed the name SkinJase into Google they would have saved themselves a trip.Mirror Coronavirus Heroes The coronavirus lockdown is a worrying time for millions across the UK.

But it's also bringing out the best in people who are selflessly giving their time each day to help those most in need.Our Mirror Coronavirus Heroes series wants to recognise all of those helping the most vulnerable during the crisis.Whether it's a local business going the extra mile for the community or a teenager helping an elderly neighbour, we want to hear about it.

You can email your stories of Mirror Coronavirus Heroes to webnews@mirror.co.uk."I just wanted to get the word out that I'm not open for tattoos."I've been doing the food bank now for six or seven years but since we went into lockdown, the workload has quadrupled.

"We're mainly helping pensioners and the vulnerable who can't get out due to self-isolation. We take along a week's supply of shopping. We've been all over Stoke-on-Trent."We must have visited 200 addresses in the last two weeks. We've also been helping those that we normally support and we've donated to around a dozen care homes as they're struggling too.

"I couldn't do it without all the donations, the people of Stoke-on-Trent have been so generous. I'm just the middle man."Read More Boris Johnson in intensive care Hundreds of Jason's friends have also jumped to his defence.One woman wrote: "Some really sad people, you're open, yes, but only to help the vulnerable and the needy."

Another added: "You are a diamond diamond amongst stones. Stay strong and carry on doing what you do best. You have the support of the majority of people in Stoke-on-Trent."And a third said: "How dare you! How on earth can you justify being open right now?

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"Oh, you're delivering food and care parcels to people who otherwise would be without. OK, we'll let you crack on. Thanks for being an unpaid critical member of society right now in this time of global emergency!"But the council, which has no overall political control, said it must enforce Boris Johnson's new legislation brought in last month.

A spokesman said: “We treat all concerns raised by the public seriously. In this instance, we spoke to the owner of the tattoo parlour. Read more: Daily Mirror »

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