Council blunder costs ice-cream seller his licence

PUBLISHED: 11:04 11 October 2007 | UPDATED: 12:57 04 May 2010

A COUNCIL blunder meant that in one weekend ice-cream seller Clive Harris was given permission to trade by the river and then told it was illegal. Clive started selling ice-cream from a barrow in Jubilee Gardens and outside The Cutter pub on the riversid

A COUNCIL blunder meant that in one weekend ice-cream seller Clive Harris was given permission to trade by the river and then told it was illegal.

Clive started selling ice-cream from a barrow in Jubilee Gardens and outside The Cutter pub on the riverside with the full backing of the council.

But after just one weekend of trading the council's legal department decided his licence was illegal.

Councillors have given him the go-ahead to trade on areas which were not designated for street trading after their officers gave them the wrong information.

They told him he couldn't sell ice-cream from his barrow outside the Cutter but, as a goodwill gesture, allowed him to continue trading for a further three weeks on council-owned land at Jubilee Gardens.

It is the second time a council blunder has revoked a business's licence after it has already been approved.

A mistake by officers left the riverboat Marianne unable to set sail after its licence was revoked, leaving the owner reapplying.

Clive, who already has a pitch for his barrow on private land at the boatyard in Annesdale, was given permission on August 15 to launch is business from the new sites.

He was granted a licence to trade until September 30.

But during the first weekend of trading two complaints were received by the council.

Now Clive's licence has been withdrawn and his licence fee returned.

Council officers are reviewing areas within Ely which could be designated for trading and, when agreed, these will be put out for public consultation.

Liz Knox, East Cambridgeshire District Council's head of environmental services, said: "We had requested the licensing committee to make an illegal decision.

"The areas were not designated for street trading which made the licence illegal. This has highlighted a discrepancy in procedures.

"We are hoping the review of areas designated for trading will be in place so that Mr Harris can reapply for next summer."

Clive refused to comment on the council's decision.

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