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Street Trading rules drawn up

September 7, 2011 12:52 PM
By Trevor Carbin

ice cream vanIf you want to set up a stall selling flowers on a street in Salisbury you can just go ahead. In Trowbridge or Chippenham you would first need to get a permit.

Now Wiltshire Council is to 'harmonise' arrangements across the county, introducing a 'consent street trading' scheme.

This would mean that street traders anywhere in the county would need to buy a license from the council.

Council officers have drawn up a detailed policy document on how this would work. There will be exemptions for local markets and charitable activities.

Under the initial proposals ice cream vans would not need a license but they would be banned from operating within 500m of a school. In a town like Trowbridge this would have taken out most of the residential areas, leaving ice cream sellers to find the few parts of town not barred to them, or to head off to schoolless villages.

When the draft was reviewed at the Licensing Committee meeting on April 5th a proposal to scrap this requirement was defeated, but a compromise exclusion zone of 200m radius was agreed.

Similar restrictions apply to the issuing of street trading licenses generally - licenses won't be issued for sites within 200m of a school, or if the applicant has criminal convictions or has caused the public to complain about their activities, or if planning permission would be required.

Legally Wiltshire Council isn't allowed to profit by issuing trading licenses, so the fees reflect the costs of administration. An annual consent for a town centre trader is set to cost £2,800.

An initial consultation earlier this year revealed mixed opinions on the value of a scheme, though there was general agreement that bureaucracy should be minimised, and that nothing should be done to inhibit charitable and social activities from taking place.

A second consultation on the revised draft received positive responses from town and parish councils, though with a plea to reduce the bureaucracy of the process. WC says it will look to simplify the guidance and the application forms.

For the latest report, which was approved with a few slight amendments by the Licensing Committee on September 7th, see

http://moderngov.wiltshire.council/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=5856&T=10

The final hurdle for the policy will be to get the approval of the full council in November.