Council crackdown on seafront traders. - article from the Sidmouth Herald 6 August 2004.

SEAFRONT stalls, set up during Sidmouth festival week, have been ignoring council notices warning of fines for trading on the Esplanade because their pedlars' licences over-ride byelaws. But East Devon District Council (EDDC), which put up signs warning of 1,000 fines to anyone flouting the bye-laws, said this week that 15 traders without licences had been banned.

It was agreed at a town meeting, held to discuss the future of the festival, to try to curb traders on the seafront, but the Esplanade has been busier than ever during the 50th anniversary festival.

Councillor Stuart Hughes told the Herald he had received four complaints on Sunday about the trading. He wrote to Councillor Andrew Moulding, portfolio holder for leisure saying: "By all accounts, the trading this year is worse than last year, which I feel is regrettable. "Can we make an effort to come down hard on these individuals?

This would show the shopkeepers of the town we are doing what we said we would do and which was reported in the local papers." Rachel Pocock, head of legal and member services, told Mr Hughes revised signs, making it clear the Esplanade was prohibited for street trading, were being produced, but added: "The bye-laws don't prohibit trading, only touting, and apparently this isn't happening.

She said that unlawful trading was being dealt with and those with pedlars' licences were being "checked and moved on, as they must travel as they trade."

The official EDDC comment on the subject said: "These people are able to trade without coming under the jurisdiction of our street trading byelaws here in Sidmouth so long as they do not cause an obstruction and also do not trade from the same spot for too long.

"Our enforcement officers have been checking all traders to see if they have licences. "Those who do not are told to move on - and since Friday we have banned 15 traders who did not have licences."

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