Dunstable club Unity boss blasted as ‘a dreamer’ by creditors

Unity bar
Unity bar

A Dunstable town councillor was blasted as a “dreamer” by creditors after allegedly running up a string of debts.

Cllr Steve Elliott is one of the directors of the now-closed Unity nightclub in the Quadrant, alongside Tony Adepoju.

Following last week’s front page story about an unpaid performance fee, a number of businesses and ex-staff members have approached the Gazette to complain of unpaid bills.

One creditor described Cllr Elliott as “a dreamer and an unprofessional businessman”.

The business was incorporated by Cllr Elliott in August last year and in October, he engaged DC Electrical Services to carry out £4,417.83 of works, none of which has apparently been paid.

DC Electrical Service’s director Matt Davies said: “It has a huge bearing because we do a lot of work for the council and for The Quadrant. We did a background check on Steve and saw his position.

“We thought this was a man of standing but we were the first to be stung.”

An email from Cllr Elliott to the company in December 2016 apologised that “due to unforseen circumstances”, full payment wasn’t available.

A subsequent payment plan was not adhered to and the firm of electricians has since served a winding-up notice on the company.

Hibbits Heating & Plumbing Ltd was similarly appointed last October. After 10 days of alleged non-payment, the company went off site and sent an invoice for £5,975 for works already carried out. An early settlement offer of £4,500 was made on November 24 but to date, Hibbits state no money has been paid.

Tony Adepoju was appointed as a director of Unity in December according to Companies House, and the club opened on June 10 this year, with EastEnders’ Aaron Sidwell in attendance.

Events agency Contraband state they were engaged by Mr Adepoju for Mr Sidwell’s appearance but as reported last week, they were allegedly not paid and have also served a winding-up notice on the company.

Michael Savery of Manmade Bespoke Furniture said he was appointed by Mr Adepoju and is owed £800. Mr Savery said: “These have been the worst dealings I’ve ever had.”

A member of bar staff has also contacted the Gazette claiming to be owed wages and added: “It was a struggle for any of us to get paid.”

A customer who paid a deposit for an event later this year claimed she had been unable to get in touch with anyone from Unity.

Attempts by the Gazette to contact Mr Adepoju have been unsuccessful.

Speaking last week, Cllr Elliott said: “I’m no longer involved with Unity.

“I’m only aware of two contractors that are owed outstanding payments.”

While acknowledging some of the debts owed, Cllr Elliott said that he was “limited” in what he could say about Contraband’s claim.

Regarding the unpaid debt to DC Electrical Services, Cllr Elliott said there was a dispute about the exact amount owed. He said: “We felt that it was unfair. We were honest with them and said that we couldn’t do that.

“I want to make sure that everything is kosher, is controlled and sorted. As far as being a town councillor is concerned, I contribute a lot of my time, and my ability to be a councillor has never been impacted.

“I’m not a dishonest person, the business struggled financially and I’m contacting these people to make arrangements to pay.”