Street trading policy


1.1 The Policy

1.1.1 This document states Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's, (to be referred to subsequently as WHBC) policy on Street Trading as defined by the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (Section 3 and schedule 4).

1.2 The Objectives of this Policy

1.2.1 This Policy has been adopted with view to securing the following objectives:

(i) to enhance the town centres of Welwyn Garden City, and Hatfield;
(ii) to protect public health through the control of street trading within the District of Welwyn Hatfield;
(iii) to ensure that traders operate within the law and act fairly in their dealings with the public; and
(iv) to prevent nuisance, unsafe practices and anti-social behaviour.

1.3 The Law

1.3.1 The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (Section 3 and Schedule 4) provides the legal framework for the control of street trading in England and Wales. The legislative framework, however, is not an automatic entitlement and councils must formally adopt the legislation if they wish to regulate street trading in their areas. Other relevant legislation includes Food Safety Act 1990, Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and associated regulations, Environmental Protection Act 1990, Trading Standards legislation, and this Street Trading Policy

1.3.2 WHBC has resolved to make all streets within Welwyn Hatfield prohibited streets, with the exception of any streets designated as consent streets. This came into effect on 1st April 1993.

1.3.3 Street trading is defined as "the selling or exposing or offering for sale of any article, including a living thing, in a street."

1.3.4 Streets are further defined as "any road, footway, beach, or other area to which the public have access without payment or any service area as defined by section 329 of the Highways Act 1990."

1.3.5 WHBC does not issue street consents to traders who have made arrangements with owners of private land such as business car parks providing they are not on the Highway and have the land owner's permission. However these traders still have to register with Environmental Health if they are providing food. WHBC will not be liable for any agreements/disputes between the landowner and the trader.

1.3.6 The main purpose of this legislation is to establish an appropriate licensing regime which prevents undue nuisance, interference or inconvenience to the public brought about by street trading. This legislation provides local authorities with the power (but not duty) to designate specific areas within their administrative boundaries as either:
(i) Prohibited Streets: those which are not open to street traders;
(ii) Consent Streets: where street trading is prohibited unless it has been given local authority consent;
(iii) Licence Streets: where trading is prohibited without a local authority licence.

1.3.7 Local authorities can place conditions on any Consent or Licence. The Act also creates offences associated with trading in Consent or Licence Streets without the necessary authority: the person guilty of such an offence may be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding Level 3 on the standard scale. WHBC has not adopted street trading licences only street trading consents. Any person who, in connection with an application for a street trading consent, makes a false statement which he knows to be false in any material respect, or which he does not believe to be true, shall be guilty of an offence.

1.3.8 There are a number of exemptions provided in the Act that are not to be considered street trading:

(i) trading as a pedlar under the authority of a pedlar's certificate granted under the Pedlars Act 1871:
(ii) a market trader operating at a Charter or licensed market venue;
(iii) trading at a Charter Fair;
(iv) trading in a trunk road picnic area provided by the Secretary of State under section 112 of the Highways Act 1980
(v) trading as a news vendor selling only newspapers and /or periodicals:
(vi) trading at a petrol filling station or as part of a the business of a shop adjoining a petrol station;
(vii) trading carried on in a street linked to an adjoining shop where the street trading is an extension of the shop's ordinary business;
(viii) trading as a roundsman;
(ix) where permission has been granted from the Highway Authority pursuant to Section 115 of the Highways Act 1980 to trade from an object or structure placed in, on, or over the highway;
(x) charitable street collections authorised by the Police, Factories, etc Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916.

1.4 Additional matters relating to street activity

1.4.1 Tables and chairs and 'A' boards. The granting of permissions for the placing of tables and chairs outside of a business providing refreshment, or the placing of advertising boards outside of any business, is provided for by section 115 of the Highways Act 1980.

1.4.2 The licensing powers provided by section 115 of the Highways Act 1980 is designed to ensure that highways are kept free of obstructions and nuisance, WHBC is of the opinion that Hertfordshire Highways, acting as the Highway Authority on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, is best placed to administer this function in conjunction with WHBC's planning department.

1.4.3 Leaflet distributors may get permission to distribute free literature on WHBC land or highways by contacting our Town Centre Teams. If leaflets are seen to cause defacement to the street we can exercise our powers as a principal litter authority to control such distribution under the Environmental Health Protection Act 1990 by way of enforcement and designating streets for consent.

1.4.4 Direct debit collectors are required to book their collection date with the licensing team prior to their visit. We only accept bookings for two weekdays each week in the town centres to protect the residents from over exposure to this type of collection. We do not accept bookings on a Saturday or Sunday as these are reserved for registered charities who wish to carry out cash collections. Where possible they will be allocated one of the town centres or villages for their collections and in some cases they operate throughout the whole district. Some stores also allow collectors to stand on their premises but these need to be approached directly as they are then collecting on private land not the highway. Appendix H.

1.4.5 Party political stalls can be granted permission by approaching the town centre teams if the land is owned by WHBC. In the case of private land the owner of the land would need to give permission.

1.4.6 Buskers do not require a licence but should approach the town centre teams for permission to perform and arrange a suitable location dependant on other activities taking place on any day.

1.4.7. Markets consist of 5 stalls or more [Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Part XII section 37 (6)] and further information can be obtained by contacting our Corporate Property/Estates department.

1.4.8. Fairs - Charter fairs are allowed but any complaints will be directed to the police or town centre teams.

1.4.9 Street collections can collect cash or sell articles for the benefit of charitable or other purposes if a street collection permit is issued. There is no cost for the issuing of the permit but there are rules to be followed in applying. These can be found at Appendix F.

1.4.10 House to house collections, a permit can be granted for any period up to one year. Collections generally take place from door to door or from one public house to another. These can be found at Appendix G.

1.4.11 Roundsman a person who makes rounds selling, offering or exposing for sale his product is exempt from street trading. This includes ice cream/sandwich vans as they can claim exemption as a roundsman if they are moving from place to place. Stationary vehicles would need to either be on private land with the owner's permission or be trading under a street trading permit.

1.4.12 Commercial promoters are classed as street traders on the basis that a contract is formed for the sale of goods. The town centre team may give permission under their town centre permit. (Once adopted).

1.4.13 Fetes, carnivals or similar community based events will not be charged for street trading provided the land owner has given permission and an Event Notification Form (ENF) has been submitted to the licensing team. All other legal requirements such as road closures, alcohol or music licences are the responsibility of the organiser.

1.5 Policy Duration

1.5.1 This Policy will take effect from .................... for a maximum period of five years.

1.5.2 Prior to the end of the five year period, if changes are to be made a consultation will be undertaken with a view to publishing a new Policy to take effect no later than ........... .

1.5.3 The Policy will be kept under constant review to ensure that it meets the policy objectives. Additionally, it will be amended as and when necessary to reflect changes in best practice, legislation and case law