Agenda item

Street Trading

Report of the Assistant Director of Commissioning.

Minutes:

The report was presented by Fiona Inston, Licensing and Business Support Manager which provided an update on the outcome of the recent statutory consultation process and recommended a revision of existing street trading provisions and an extension of a street trading consent scheme to the whole district.

 

In response to a question in relation to picnic sites in the district being exempt as they often had mobile food vendors vehicles in them and the comment received from the Highways Agency with regard to the picnic site on the A11 at Roudham, the Licensing and Business Support Manager stated that each case would be looked at individually.

 

The annual fee of £408 for the initial grant or renewal of a Street Trading Consent was thought by some Members could cause difficulty to some start-up traders and that monthly instalment payments should be considered.  The Licensing and Business Support Manager advised that she had spoken with Finance about that option but would speak further with them on what was involved.   The Chairman was concerned about over complicating the system and made the suggestion that a half yearly fee be considered, to which a Member added that if a 6 monthly fee was brought in, it should be more than half the £408 fee.

 

At the General Purposes Committee held on 25 July, 2012 it had been asked if there was a possibility of having a reciprocal arrangement with Breckland Council’s district neighbours so there would be no need for traders to be re-inspected by Breckland if they had been inspected by another authority.  Whilst the Licensing and Business Support Manager stated that this had been looked into and a Member made it clear that he wanted to see a willingness to discuss with neighbouring authorities that certificates from other authorities were considered as this would be something that Breckland Council would be happy to do.

 

A Member questioned whether it would be more efficient if traders were given the incentive of a reduced fee for attending the Authority at an agreed time, which would then free up Officer time.  Whilst that option had been fully considered, the Licensing and Business Support Manager explained that a mobile team was being encouraged for the district, and to make appointments for traders to attend the Council officers, would mean Officers having to return back to the office and would over complicate the system, and added that Officers wanted to visit traders on site to see their working environment.

 

The application process was explained to Members when asked whether inspections would be by appointment or surprise visits, and that a common sense approach would need to be taken with regard to different types of traders e.g those who were mobile, to which a Member felt that traders should be told in advance as to when a charge would applied to them and not by a surprise visit.

 

The Licensing and Business Support Manager would take their suggestions to the Group she sat on which was the Norfolk Chief Environmental Health Officer Group.

 

RESOLVED that the General Purposes Committee required the Licensing and Business Support Manager to make the Executive Member for Planning and Environmental Services aware of the General Purposes Committee desire for an agreement with other authorities, and for the portfolio holder to respond to the Committee either in person or by letter.<1>

 

            RECOMMEND to Council that :

 

1.                  Approve in principle the designation of all streets in Breckland as ‘Consent Streets’ for the purposes of Street Trading**

 

2.                  Agree the Street Trading Standard Conditions as set out in Appendix 2 of the report

3.                  Agree an annual fee of £408 for the initial grant or renewal of a Street Trading Consent (subject to annual review)

4.                  Authorise the Executive Member for Planning & Environmental Services to vary the fee structure as appropriate

5.                  Authorise the Licensing and Business Support Manager in consultation with the Executive Member for Planning & Environmental Services to agree a fee of £0 for the grant or renewal of a Street Trading Consent for local charitable fund raising activities, as defined in section 3.1.4 of the report

6.                  Recommend to full Council that existing street trading restrictions in Thetford and Watton be rescinded as at 28 February 2013 and all streets in Breckland be designated as Consent Streets in accordance with section 3 and Schedule 4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 with effect from 1 March 2013

7.                  A further report be brought for consideration by Members in the event of problems being identified following the introduction of the revised scheme

 

**Please note that Recommendation 1, “approve in principle the designation of all streets in Breckland as ‘Consent Streets’ for the purposes of Street Trading”, has since been approved by Council on 20 September 2012.

 

Supporting documents: