Street trading 'bye-law' for Tenby needs consideration

By Observer Reporter in Planning

Pembrokeshire County Council’s head of highways has told councillors in Tenby that the authority can see there being an advantage in trying to ‘regulate’ street traders in the resort.

Members of Tenby Town Council have campaigned the county council in recent months, to ask them to consider introducing a bye-law to eradicate ‘nuisance street traders’ who cause obstruction in areas of the resort.

Councillors met with PCC and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority representatives earlier in the year to discuss how to take the matter forward in trying to tackle ‘service providers’ and ‘street traders’ who cause a ‘nuisance’ in the town.

The Mayor, Clr. Laurence Blackhall, explained that the meeting had been requested to look at issues relating to people operating on the streets of the town who were classed as ‘service providers’ and not therefore covered by legislation relating to either street traders or pedlars.

He said that the main concerns were obstruction, visual impact and the growing number of operators, which created a low grade image of the town.

Clr. Blackhall said that there was no reason to debate whether or not they wanted these operators on the streets as there was a clear signal from all members of the community that this was something that was a problem that either needed prevention or control, to finally resolve this long-standing issue.

He felt that some of the stalls that were classed as ‘service providers’, such as tattooists and hair braiders, were selling goods, too, and were trading, rather than providing a service.

The Mayor admitted that at the moment the only route for any form of control seemed to be if they were causing an obstruction (enforceable by the police), but there was an ambiguous legal position as, during pedestrianisation in the summer months, it was harder to enforce obstruction due to the amount of available space.

Councillors outlined concerns, especially with activities around and blocking the Five Arches, which adversely affected one of Tenby’s iconic images, and also Tudor Square, where a significant amount of money had been invested by the county council to enhance the area, only to have these operators come in and cheapen the outlook of the centre of the town.

Correspondence on the matter from the county council’s head of highways and construction, Darren Thomas, came before members of the town council at their meeting on Tuesday night.

“We can see the advantage of trying to regulate, albeit we haven’t really tested this ‘fact’ via wider public consultation,” he wrote.

“The more significant issue is one of resources - who is going to pay for introducing such a byelaw (if warranted) - both the physical costs (studies, advertisements, consultation, etc), and also staff time, etc. We will consider this further and provide a response,” added Mr. Thomas.

Clr. Mrs. Christine Brown asked for the matter to be put on the agenda for the next meeting of the town council.

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