‘Croydon Council has recently announced proposals to change the way it charges business for street trading licences. In a 28 day public consultation which is promoted through obscure tweets like “do street trading fees affect you?” the council proposes changing the structure for street trading fees from a fixed fee, to a fee per square metre. Under their proposals businesses are faced with an increase of as much as 4,500% in their fees from April 2016.
This decision does not just affect businesses, it affects ordinary citizens. Street Trading fees cover the licensing of a broad range of on street activities. While it may sound like it just governs things like market stalls (which are exempt from the increase under the new proposals) it actually affects any activity occupying the footpaths on an interim or ongoing basis. Any outside tables or chairs which are on the public footpath or highway are subject to street trading regulations.
Matthews Yard currently pays £89 per year for the rights to have tables and chairs outside our premises. Under the new proposal this fee would increase to £80 per week. This is an unrealistic and unfair increase and will force us to remove the tables and chairs which our customers enjoy so much in the rare opportunities our weather affords us to use the space.
We urge the council to rethink their decision and proposed fee structure and perhaps look at alternative means of balancing their books.’
If you’d like to sign the petition, find it here:
You can also give your opinion direct the council by emailing the council on firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ensure that you read the documents at https://getinvolved.croydon.gov.uk/KMS/DMart.aspx before responding.
Quite which local press carried the notice is not clear as the post still contains notes referring to adding the details of press before posting.
What do YOU think?
The initial response on Twitter indicates that people are certainly taken aback by the proposal. Follow comments on the hashtag #sunshinetax
If you want to add a comment, please do. If you’d prefer to do so anonymously, please email us and we’ll post the comment up for you.
Download the relevant council documents, here:
The proposal: Street Trading fees – Public Notice
Map*: Street Trading Fees – North End map
*Please note, this map indicates the area covered by a higher rate of £5 per square metre. Traders outside of this area, such as Matthews Yard, will still be charged £3 per square metre.