The Licensing Officer outlined the background to the application as follows:
· The application had been made on behalf of the Parks and Markets team;
· The process was to apply for a provisional consent application in the first instance to gauge issues around the city and see if each location was appropriate;
· The process provided a seamless route for applicants as it addressed any issues at an early stage and allowed a more streamline application process;
· Anyone applying for the concession would also need to persuade the Council that they were a fit and proper person to hold a street trading licence;
· If the Committee was minded to grant consent, the Licensing Team recommended two additional conditions (as well as the usual standard conditions) relating to preventing the use of either a diesel or petrol generator and ensuring the concession could not operate if another event was taking place without the prior permission of the event organiser.
In response to questioning, the Licensing Officer summarised the objections as below:
· Concern about the use of the park in general and the potential for anti-social behaviour;
· Concern that school children will purchase unhealthy food;
· Concern about the proposed hours of operation;
· Concern about potential for litter.
She confirmed that conditions could be applied in relation to litter, food options and restricting the hours of operation.
The Parks and Markets Officer outlined the background for the application:
· The Parks and Markets Team had identified a need to reduce expenditure by £3m and following a citywide consultation about ways of generating income, one of the options identified was to increase the number of concessions in parks;
· The team had worked with the procurement and public health teams with a view to achieving a gold standard in terms of environment and quality in addition to price;
· The team was mindful of what would work within a park, and the current successful concessions were usually limited to tea, coffee and ice cream rather than fast food;
· The licence would contain a clause about litter and the successful applicant would need to provide a rubbish receptacle;
· The Committee could include a condition not to have hot food if appropriate;
· A concern had been raised about gates being opened, but operators would have a key.
In response to Member questioning, officers confirmed the following:
· The consultation did not specify a particular food option, as the application covered all areas in the city and different options may work in different areas;
· This area would probably attract a tea/coffee/ice cream concession and this would attract adults rather than school children and could discourage anti-social behaviour;
· The concession could act as the “eyes and ears” of the Council and report back on any anti-social behaviour;
· There was no “Friends of” Group associated with this park, but the Council had ensured that the Parks Forum was updated in relation to the applications;
· Orchard School had submitted an objection as part of the Public Forum statement, but there had been no representations from the police.
The Committee invited Councillor Hiscock, local member, to speak in relation to the application and she raised the following points:
· Although not opposed to all food concessions, as the Chair of the Public Health Scrutiny Commission, and a Health Professional for 25 years, she was concerned that this could be an outlet for fast food and this was a particular concern due to the proximity of the park to a Primary and Secondary School;
· In order for a concession to be profitable it would need to sell a lot of food and this was likely to be an unhealthy option;
· The concessions could encourage children to spend money on unhealthy food and gather in the park which could lead to anti-social behaviour;
· Orchard Secondary School had a problem with attendance and the food concession could encourage children to absent themselves from school;
· The School had made a lot of effort to encourage healthy lifestyles and this concession would not help their efforts;
· There was a national problem with childhood obesity and this was something the council were trying to address in Bristol;
· Although there wasn’t a “Friends of” group, there was a neighbourhood group which had undertaken a lot of work on litter collection;
· There had been problems in the past with anti-social behaviour and young adults causing a disturbance and the concession could encourage this again by being a gathering point;
· The local residents were not consulted about the proposal and were concerned about the implications for the local area;
· This was a residential area and a school route and a concession would not benefit the area.
At this point in the meeting, everyone withdrew with the exception of the Committee Members, Legal Advisor to the Committee and Democratic Services Officer while the Committee considered the application. Everyone returned to hear the decision.
The Committee noted the concerns of local residents but considered that the majority of concerns could be mitigated by appropriate conditions.
Cllr Eddy proposed, it was seconded and;
RESOLVED (unanimously) that consent be granted in principle for a street trading licenceat Monks Park Open Space, Biddestone Road, subject to the following conditions (in addition to standard conditions normally attached):
· The consent holder will be required to install an electric charging point (or gas alternative) before any concession is in place;
· The consent holder will be permitted to sell hot/cold drinks, cold food and ice cream and will not be permitted to sell any hot food;
· The maximum hours of operation will be Monday to Sunday 09 00 – 18 00;
· The consent will exclude any such items deemed to cause offence and/or harm, such as alcohol, weapons, fireworks, vaping, tobacco, knives or legal highs.
· The consent holder shall not be permitted to use either a diesel or petrol generator. The unit may be powered by an alternative energy source, however it must be of a ‘silent running’ nature.
· The consent holder will not be permitted to trade on occasions when other events, or festivals take place at the site, or which encompass the site, without the explicit written permission of the event or festival organiser.