FolkWeek street trade fees to rise by 33per cent

PUBLISHED: 15:46 20 February 2011

P6983-32-09SH Stalls line the Sidmouth Esplanade during Folk week.; Picture by Simon Horn.

P6983-32-09SH Stalls line the Sidmouth Esplanade during Folk week.; Picture by Simon Horn.

Archant

FEES levied on street traders who descend on Sidmouth seafront during its famous FolkWeek are set to be increased by 33per cent.

FEES levied on street traders who descend on Sidmouth seafront during its famous FolkWeek are set to be increased by 33per cent.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) licensing chiefs say the move will save tax-payers’ cash.

Members of the authority’s executive board last week backed proposals to raise the daily fee for street traders who pre-book a slot for three or more days from £15 to £20.

Those who have not booked or want a one or two day slot face a 66per cent rise from £15 per day to £25.

EDDC Sidmouth town ward member, Councillor Chris Gibbings, who chairs the council’s licensing committee, said the move was in line with what other local authorities charged.

“The figures look like a massive increase –but the reality is it’s a £5 rise. It’s not dramatic,” said Cllr Gibbings.

“It’s good business. If you have a lot of people who want to take up slots, you try and earn some more money to reduce council tax.

“Licensing should not make a loss, it should cover its face and that’s what we need to do. I don’t see why tax payers should pay for other people to trade. If we didn’t put charges up, that’s what would happen. If we don’t do things like this ,other services will have to suffer.

“We don’t want to put street traders off, we want them here.”

He added the move would help cover the cost of council officers’ time controlling and monitoring non-legitimate traders so those who had paid for the right don’t suffer. Street trading regulations during FolkWeek were the subject of a council strategy rethink in 2008.

In a report to executive board members, EDDC’s licensing manager said a £33.3per cent increase in fees would raise an additional £2,700 per year for the authority.

He added: “This fee level has been maintained over the past three years in order to keep some stability to the new street trading regime during the folk festival.

“Over recent years, many of the traders who previously peddled have taken out consents to trade and have come within the council controlled regime.”

EDDC’s full council will decide the fate of the fee rise.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald