Police will crack down on traders

NEW regulations concerning street trading in the county are set to come into force next month.

Following 12 months of discussions between Northumberland County Council, traders and representatives, a new Street Trading Policy has been approved.

The new scheme will come into effect on August 22 after members of the county council approved it at their full council meeting last week.

Previous designations made by former district and borough councils will be rescinded and replaced with a set of new guidelines, designated as consent streets.

The new fees for a licence will be £15 a day; £25 a week; £75 a month; £150 for six months; or £300 for the year.

But there will be no charge for fetes, carnivals, charitable events, farmers markets, community fairs or craft events.

Coun Jeffrey Watson, chairman of the council’s licensing committee, said: “This process has been going on for a year, there have been a lot of discussions about it and we have reduced the fees dramatically.

“We were going to restrict street trading vehicles within a mile of any school, which would effectively mean an ice cream van wouldn’t be able to go to any village in Northumberland.

“We managed to sort these issues out. For a year, the fee is £300. That’s £1 a day.”

Coun Gordon Castle added: “I think we have got this policy right.

“There were compelling reasons to get this right such as rogue traders and the power to intervene where matters are not being dealt with correctly.”

The new scheme aims to protect public health through controlling street trading; improve standards of food safety, health and safety, and environmental management; ensure traders operate within the law; and preventing unsafe practices.