A new fee could be introduced for street traders attending special events if plans proposed by Lichfield District Council get the go-ahead.
Previously, street trading licences have been waived for special events, but that could now change after the local authority said the cost of managing the rising number of festivals in the city has “sky rocketed”.
The council is planning to introduce a £21 fee for traders attending such events to help cover its costs as part of an update to its street trading policy.
Cllr Doug Pullen, Cabinet member for regulatory services, housing and wellbeing, said: “Lichfield is fast becoming known as the city of festivals, with thousands of people flocking to events throughout the year.
“It is vital that street trading in the city and district is safe and well managed, which is why the district council’s environmental health team carries out detailed checks on street traders and issue licences, as well as attends special events to ensure they are being run safely.
“Since 2016, when traders attend special events we have waived the usual street trading fee, which we are delighted has encouraged even more events to take place in the city.
“That said, the growth in size and number of special events has meant the workload to support these has sky rocketed to a level that we can no longer administer them without bringing in additional resource. To ensure we can continue to support special events we are proposing that a small fee is introduced for the cost of street trading licences at special events.
“This will be lower than the usual street trading charge and all income will be used to help administer the licences. The proposed cost of a special event licence will be £21 for the first day, rather than £33, and £13 for subsequent days.
“While we know traders may not welcome the charge, we very much hope they will understand that it is in all our interests to ensure events are run safely, and by doing so we are confident special events will attract even more footfall to the city bringing them even more customers and income.”
A consultation has now been launched over the proposed fee, together with other changes to the street trading policy, which the council hopes will give prospective traders an early indication as to whether their application is likely to be granted or not.
The policy is available online. Comments can be emailed to email@example.com or in writing to James Rudman, District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6ZE, by 5pm on June 1.