Discussions to reduce licensing fees for street traders in St Albans

First published in News St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Proposals to reduce licensing fees for street trading in St Albans have been discussed.

At a meeting on Tuesday, January 7 St Albans District Council’s Local Services Scrutiny Committee recommended that the Licensing and Regulatory Committee implement a new two-tier licensing fee structure for street trading.

This comes after a Task and Finish Group carried out a review which showed concerns were raised by businesses and councillors that street trading fees were unreasonable.

It is estimated that the proposed changes will result in an annual reduction in street trading fees of £9,000 for the council.

The fee for a static site is currently £750 for grant and renewal. Under the proposals, the fee for a grant will be reduced by £80 to £670 and for a renewal it will be reduced by £390 to £360.

For mobile sites the fee is currently £500 a year for grant and renewal. It is proposed that this will be reduced to £465 for a grant and to £245 for a renewal.

Councillor Chris White, chair of the local services scrutiny committee, said: “Street trading fees are a key element in the Council’s overall approach to supporting the local economy.

“The Committee has decided that they need to be looked at again as the law around setting licensing fees has recently changed. It has proposed a new fee structure, based on the actual cost of processing grants and renewals, and recommends that the Licensing and Regulatory Committee implements this.”

The proposed fees are based on the actual cost of providing the licensing service, in line with a recent ruling in the case of Hemmings v Westminster City Council (2012) and the European Services Directive on the calculation of licensing fees.

The proposed fees are less than those currently charged and renewals will now attract a smaller fee than the initial grant.

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