The Applicant was in attendance.
The Licensing Officer outlined the background to the application as follows:
· This was an application for the grant of a Street Trading consent at Bush Corner;
· The application was deferred from 9th July as the applicant was unable to attend;
· The location was designated as a consent street for the purpose of street trading legislation and was recently subject to a concession which was managed by the Council’s Parks and Markets Teams;
· The applicant had won the tender for the concession and was now applying for a street trading licence to trade lawfully;
· The Applicant had a conviction in November 2018 for trading in a prohibited street in Broadmead and had failed to declare the conviction in his application;
· Since the conviction, there had been suspected illegal trading practices linked to the van registered in the name of the applicant;
· The Committee was required to consider the suitability of applicants in determining an application and in view of the conviction which had not been spent; it was recommended that the application be refused.
The Applicant presented his case as follows:
· He apologised for his case being brought to the Committee;
· The conviction had arisen as he had been looking for a site in Broadmead for his son to trade;
· He felt he had been let down by Bristol City Council and had been misinformed by John Hirst that he would get permission from Cabot Circus to trade on a site near British Homes Stores;
· Before the court case he had been trading for 35 years without any trouble;
· He had consents from other Councils, including Sedgemoor Council where he currently traded;
· He had inherited the business from his father and when his son left school in 2017, he had decided to join the trade. The Applicant had got a loan for £25,000 to buy his son a van on the understanding that he would have permission to trade in Broadmead;
· After 2 months of trading on the site he was told that he could no longer trade there and was advised verbally by an employee of Cabot Circus that he could trade on an alternative site by Sainsburys;
· He traded on the site near Sainsburys on the understanding that he had verbal permission;
· He was advised to plead guilty in court to trading on the site without consent as he had no written permission from Cabot Circus;
· He had applied for the concession in Bush Corner for his son but had applied in his own name as his son would not be 18 until October 2019;
· He had failed to declare his conviction in making the application by mistake;
· His son needed the pitch to pay off the £25,000 loan for the van.
In response to questions, the Applicant confirmed:
· His son was currently trading on the Bush Corner site as he believed that he could do so pending a decision on the licence and he was aware that other street traders were told they could do so by City Council officers while awaiting a licence;
· He had not been trading at Cabot Circus since the court conviction.
Further to questioning, officers clarified that:
· John Hirst was Chief Executive of Destination Bristol and was not employed by Bristol City Council;
· The application had been made in the name of the Applicant and had to be considered as his application even if it was intended for his son;
· Even though the application referred to the trading name of the Applicant’s son’s company, as it was not a limited company the application had to be considered in the name of the individual, i.e. the Applicant DA;
· The minimum age for applying for a Street Trading Consent was 17 and therefore the Applicant’s son was old enough to apply in his own name;
· The consent could not be transferred and a fresh application would need to be made;
· The Applicant had been advised in an email from Cabot Circus that he could not trade outside Sainsburys without the correct permissions;
· The Committee were not able to comment on the decision of the Court, but could only consider the conviction in relation to the Applicant being a suitable person to hold a Street Trading Consent;
· The Applicant could not trade at Bush Corner if he did not have the Street Trading Consent even if he had won the tender for the concession. If other Street Traders were trading without the necessary permissions then this activity was illegal.
At this point in the meeting the Applicant and Licensing Officer withdrew from the meeting while the Committee considered the application. They returned to the meeting to hear the decision.
That the application be refused for the following reason:
In accordance with the Council’s Street Trading Policy, the applicant could not be considered a suitable person due to his conviction for illegal trading.
The Committee noted that the Applicant wanted the consent for his son to trade, but Members could only consider the application before them and recommended that the Applicant’s son speak to the Parks and Markets Team about the concession and submitting an application in his own name. Any application would be considered in the usual way and the Committee could not offer any reassurance that the application would be granted.