EDDC street trading policy backfires

From “Positive Development for Everyone in Seaton” Facebook page:

“Seaton Markets in 2018 have been CANCELLED.

In view of the recent discussions and correspondence between the Market Organisers and Licensing Officers of East Devon District Council, both the Seaton Branch of the Royal British Legion and Seaton Lions Club have decided with regret, that they cannot proceed with organising Seaton Charity Street Markets in 2018.

These were going to take place on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May, Bank Holiday Monday 28th May and Sunday 15th July. Seaton Carnival Committee have yet to meet to discuss their proposed street market.

This of course will be a financial loss to the charities of between £400 and £800 per market. We have also had the expense of paying DCC Highways a road closure fee of £75 per market.

There will also be a financial loss to Seaton. We estimate that visitors on a market day spend at least £25,000 throughout the town. They patronise the pubs, cafes, coffee shops, ice cream sellers, fish and chip shops, souvenir shops, tramway and Jurassic Centre. This money will not now be spent locally to Seaton, perhaps not even in East Devon.

Although the Act of 1982 is still in force, EDDC interpretation of the requirements since October 2017 have changed. They have introduced a Street Trading Policy which prints out at 20 pages and covers everything possible, putting all of the responsibility onto the market organiser. The policy absolves EDDC of all responsibility. There is also a further 3 pages of another policy for the market organiser. Both of these policies hold the threat of prosecution if the organiser does not comply with the requirements.

The question is why would anyone want to organise a street market when they fully understand the responsibilities which are being passed onto them by EDDC.

EDDC have then combined this with a six page application form which has to be accompanied by an insurance policy, a letter giving permission to use this policy and a map which details exactly where every trader will go in the area being applied for 30 days BEFORE THE EVENT.

EDDC are also asking for proof of permission from the land owner. In the past was DCC Highways but now includes EDDC Street Scene.

To accompany this application EDDC are asking for each trader attending to complete a two page application form, submit photos of their stall and include insurance and hygiene certificate details. They have specified that the hygiene certificate should be level 3, this level applies to restaurants.

If you add all of this paperwork up, it now comes out at over 150 pieces of paperwork for an average street market. Last year we submitted a three page application form and insurance details, that was it.

We also now have to complete a six page application form from EDDC Street Scene which by the way doesn’t co ordinate with the Licensing application form. Street Scene are also asking for a £35.20 fee,so although EDDC Licensing are generously waiving the £20 license fee, it has been substantially increased in 2018 by another department.

The Seaton Charity Street Markets have been held four times a year for over 30 years. They are all organised by volunteers. EDDC increased regulation has turned the organising of a street market into a full time task fraught with extra responsibilities.

It feels as though EDDC have decided to shut down the street markets using over regulation to do so.”

2 thoughts on “EDDC street trading policy backfires

  1. I really do not believe that this is a deliberate attempt to shut down street markets. But I do understand if EDDC wants to reduce its own liabilities in an ever increasingly litigious society.

    I think this is not so much about their intentions as the excessively bureaucratic way that it has been handled – in other words EDDC is a council (members and officers) who are utterly thoughtless about the consequences of their changes – and since all changes have consequences and understanding them is a fundamental of running a council, I would characterise this is absolute incompetence rather than a malicious attempt to screw the local economy.

    But that is just my opinion – you are free to make your own judgement as to whether it is maliciousness or incompetence. Just remember what you judgement is when it comes to EDDC elections in 2019 and remember that it was the Conservative Party who were in charge of the council and who were either incompetent or malicious (or indeed possibly both).

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  2. Seaton has been running these brilliant events for many years and this is so sad. Thired-rate East Devon District Council officers who came up with this appalling regime on street trading (including a consultation, of course) should be held to account, but on CEO Mark Williams watch neither he nor they can do any wrong, and anyone challenging that is condemned by the dim-witted patsy Toy councillors according to a script provided for them. Come on Marcus Hartness, Seaton Tory District Councillor, how about you try and fix this!

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