The Council’s street trading licence fees consultation ended on Thursday 24 February. The proposals would generate over £100,000 more than the actual costs. The fact that nearly 3,000 people have signed the petition set up by Saif Bonar of Matthews Yard because of concerns they have for the potential damage to small independent businesses.
In my response I have made argued that because of its inadequacy, the consultation should be stopped and the matter referred to the Scrutiny Committee to decide the basis for starting a new consultation process and the content of the consultation document.
If this does not happen then the Licensing Committee scheduled to consider the outcome of the consultation should refer it back for the production of a proper consultation document and the re-start of the consultation.
The main consultation paper and the support paper Street Trading Fees- Consultation Questions and Answers do not set out in any detail the extent of street licencing, the current income and staffing, and what the estimated told income under the proposed new fee calculation. It contains no options with an explanation as to why the Council has chosen the specific new fee level it proposes. There is no discussion on the potential negative effects it might have on small independent traders as opposed to chain traders.
Several Freedom of Information requests have been submitted by Saif Bonar, myself and others, most of which have not yet been replied to. The answer to one seeking information about the number of public complaints about street trading has not included a figure, which suggests that no statistics are kept.
My response can be seen here: