THE owner of two popular children's nurseries in Forfar and Kirriemuir has given his personal assurance to parents that it really is "business as usual" after he was forced to close the premises for two days.
Amar Sharif, who owns the Wendyhouse Nurseries, has held his hands up and admitted he was personally responsible for a situation which resulted in the electricity supply to both buildings being cut.
At the time of going to press on Tuesday (yesterday), it emerged an internal meeting will be held at the Forfar nursery on Thursday evening at 6.30 p.m. when parents with children at the nursery in the town will be able to meet Amar personally.
The problems first materialised a week past Friday when the plug was pulled on the power supplies, forcing both nurseries to turn away pre-school children.
Despite frantic phone calls on the Friday and during the weekend, the power was not restored until the following Monday.
Amar, of the Wendyhouse parent company SHK property and investment, was well aware of the "rumour mill" which had been going round the two towns since the forced closure, but was at pains to admit the situation had been purely of his making.
Speaking to the Forfar Dispatch and Kirriemuir Herald last Friday, he explained it had been "business as usual" since last Tuesday.
"It was my mistake. I made the mistake of falling out with our supplier of electricity because we were facing an increase of 500 a quarter to 10,000 a quarter.
"My business is predominantly dealing with commercial property and I was dealing with this like a business issue, rather than a care issue.
"I was facing a phenomenal electricity bill, I fell out with the company but they wouldn't come and address the issue. I ended up worse off."
Mr Sharif explained he had spent a frustrating weekend making numerous telephone calls, speaking to various people in different departments to try to get the problem resolved as quickly as possible.
New metres were installed last Monday but he felt the situation had had a "disastrous impact" on the goodwill built up over the years between the nursery and parents.
Speaking frankly he continued: "This has had a disastrous impact not only on the morale of staff but also among parents. That is the last thing I wanted.
"These nurseries have been there such of long period of time but this has been my mismanagement, the fault lies with me.
"I didn't manage the situation as well as I should have. The parents will be reimbursed for the days they have missed.
"This has been an expensive lesson for me."
He added letters had gone out to all parents offering assurances it was "business as usual" and he hoped his words would not fall on "deaf ears."
"Businesses are closing, banks are tightening up but I can't afford this business to close.
"I maybe should have taken a calmer approach but it is so frustrating when you are phoning three different people a day and you have to reiterate everything.
"The longevity of the businesses is the most important thing for me. The rumour mill has been going round Forfar. All I can do now is show we are back for the long run.
"I have said to parents we aren't going under, I can't afford it to go under. Although I am not there physically every day the nurseries are managed so brilliantly by two very good managers."