Consultations are taking place over revisions to Lichfield District Council’s controversial street trading policy.
The local authority introduced the new policy in 2018, which saw a subsidised special event trading fee of £21 per day and £13 for subsequent days.
But the fees caused a backlash from vendors, with organisers saying they could put the future of events such as the Lichfield Grub Club and Lichfield Food Festival in jeopardy.
Much of the issue came around the timing of the charges being introduced after some traders had already signed up for a pitch without the fee.
That led to Cllr Angela Lax, Cabinet member for legal and regulatory services, confirming a review of the system after admitting that the council “recognised that the fee and the timing of its introduction has caused some issues”.
Now a report to the regulatory and licensing committee reveals that a six-week consultation will take place over proposed changes.
The proposed changes would see an alternative reduced fee introduced for stallholders not selling food or alcohol.
The report to the committee explained: “In implementing the [existing] policy it has also been raised that the street trading fees should take account of a risk based approach because in reality the amount of work involved in processing and enforcing a street trading consent which doesn’t include the sale of alcohol or food, is less than that required for other traders.”
The council is also planning to revise deadlines for event organisers to provide the relevant information required.
The report said: “The licensing team have been keen to be supportive in processing applications, but the large number of late applications and changes to already issued consents has put the team under considerable pressure.
“With the exception of one special event, organiser deadlines have not been met. This has put pressure on the licensing team and has meant that additional staff have had to be employed to process late applications.
“The proposed revised deadlines allow more time for organisers to get traders to apply, but it is important for the management of the team’s resources that these application deadlines are met.”
The consultation is set to run until mid-August, with the revised policy taking effect from September if no objections are raised.