The Council is consulting on increases to street trading licenses. Currently there is a flat fee of £89 a year. This fee applies irrespective of whether the licence is for the display of goods or the provision of services, such as tables and chairs, nor does the fee vary dependent on the size of the licensed area or location.
Following a review at the Labour Group Policy Meeting, it was considered unfair that the current fees, which generate around £20,000 a year) did not cover the Council’s reasonable administrative, enforcement and other relevant costs (approximately £150,000 pa), nor is it considered equitable. The Tories reduced the cost of the licences in 2007, so businesses have benefited from a subsidy worth around £1m since – and biggest businesses (who have more space) have benefited more than the smaller businesses.
In order to protect front line services the proposed fees are calculated so that the estimated income for the year balances the Council’s estimated costs for enforcement, administration, cleansing and refuse services, applicable to street trading.
We believe, that as a principle, businesses should pay the cost of the service they are using and that large businesses, who generally use more space, should pay more than small businesses who are mostly using less space.
So the proposals, which have been sent to all businesses who currently have a licence, (just under 200) are that from 1 April 2016, street trading fees will be based on the area of public highway, in squares metres, that is licensed for street trading (the licensed pitch), calculated by using the length & width of the licensed pitch. As an example, if the licensed pitch dimensions are 4 metres in length and 2 metres in width, this would equate to 8 square metres.
The following fee per square metre per week was propsed:
- In central Croydon on North End, from the junction with George Street to the junction with Poplar Walk, £5 per square metre per week.
- For all licensed pitches elsewhere in the borough, £3 per square metre per week.
The differential in amounts per square metre above is to account for the greater applicable costs associated with North End, central Croydon.
Under these proposals a standard 3 square meter place for chairs and table will rise from £89 to £468. Most small cafes have 3m or less. New businesses will receive a 75% discount on their first year fees (meaning a small café with 2m will pay just £26 in first year and £104 after)
However we recognise that for a handful of businesses, that utilize a lot of space, the jump from £89 will be quite significant. This is why we are consulting and looking for at a range of options that might mitigate the impact. New fees will not come into affect until a public report is published and the fees have been agreed by the licensing committee.
For comparison the PROPOSED fees would still be considerably cheaper that surrounding boroughs
- LB Kingston Town centrr £6404 per year. Outside the town centre £5866 per year
- LB Lewisham charge £5.50 per square metre per week.
- LB Bromley charge £2978 to trade for 7 days a week per 12 months within Bromley High Street pedestrian area. They charge £2042 to trade for 7 days a week per 12 months in all other areas of the borough.
- LB Ealing charge – £4524 (mobile caterers) and £1508 (shop fronts)
- LB Sutton charge –£600 (up to 3 sq metres) and £900 for more