Conservatives force review of licensing to protect local businesses who pay business rates

At a meeting of the Brighton & Hove City Council Licensing Committee during the week, the Conservative Group secured a review of the Council’s policy towards the granting of licenses to mobile street traders.

It follows a case where a burger van granted a license by the Council has been operating outside Hove Town Hall, just yards from the busy Church Road shopping street. In addition, the van has been parked halfway over the pavement on a section of the Norton Road covered by double yellow lines.

Conservative Group Leader, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, and local Central Hove Ward Cllr, Andrew Wealls, both raised the issue with Council officers.  

Cllr Geoffrey Theobald

Cllr. Theobald said: “I’m very pleased that a review has been agreed as this case has flagged up a number of problems, not least the fact the van is parked on a double yellow line, partly on the pavement, all day. If I were to do that, I would quite rightly be ticketed and probably towed away. And all this, in full view of the Council and Police at Hove Town Hall!”

Cllr. Andrew Wealls

Cllr. Andrew Wealls

Cllr. Wealls added: “This van is in direct competition with the restaurants and cafes on Church Road yet, unlike these shops, it doesn’t have to pay any business rates or rent. So, whilst we support all entrepreneurs, including van traders, this particular situation is clearly not a level playing field. In addition, I have been told by council officers that the regulation of street trading covers infrequent and itinerant trading. This trader has been parked in the same road for months – that is neither infrequent nor itinerant.”

Cllr. Lee Wares

Cllr. Lee Wares

Conservative Group Licensing Spokesman, Cllr. Lee Wares, who secured the review at Committee, added: “The current policy states that mobile traders are not permitted in the town centre but permits can be given in the outskirts of Brighton and Hove. A mobile trader parked 10ft the other side of the demarcation line in Church Road is not on the outskirts of the town and flies in the face of the purpose of having zones.”

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