Newport street-trading charges and school exclusion zones planned
1:50pm Thursday 7th February 2013 in Gwent news
A PROPOSAL is set to go before Newport City Council to charge all street traders for doing business in the city.
The initial proposal also comes with a condition that street traders would not be able to trade within 250 metres of any school’s gates.
This element of the potential policy angered Stephen Jones, an ice-cream salesman who has run vans in the city for nine years, who said the measure would unfairly impact upon his business.
Addressing a meeting of the council’s licensing committee at the Civic Centre on Tuesday, Mr Jones said: “I have no objection to the payment of a licensing fee, however.
I do have concerns about the draconian measures the council wishes to put in place.
“No trading within 250 metres of the boundary of an educational establishment.
“This is unfair and will cause great difficulties for me.”
He also pointed out that he currently pays the council for a pitch at the Glebelands, which under the proposals he would not be able to use as it falls within 250 metres of Glan Usk school.
Conservative councillor and committee member Charles Ferris asked: “What percentage of your business is sales at schools?”
“Eighty-five per cent,” Mr Jones replied.
“This would potentially put you out of businessm then?” Cllr Ferris asked. “Yes,” said Mr Jones.
But two schools whose representations were read out at the meeting, St Julian’s and Bassaleg, said they were in favour of an exclusion zone, with Bassaleg asking “Would it be possible for an area of more than 250m to be put forward?”
The committee voted in favour of having a policy but stressed they would be keen to tweak it, particularly in relation to the 250-metre ruling.
Labour councillor Herbie Thomas also expressed his concern that the council would charge people to trade in the city but then determine where they could go, something with which he said he was uncomfortable.
If full council votes in favour of the proposals street traders will be forced to pay a range of licence fees, depending on the nature of their business and where it would be.
These would range from a daily rate of £45 for static and mobile traders to a yearly rate of £300 for a mobile trader and £800 for a static one. New applicants would also need to pay an initial application fee of up to £150.
Fees for a static trader in the city centre would be £1,000 for the year.
Traders would also need to display a paper licence issued by the council, and council officers hope the new policy will allow for better regulation of street traders in the city.