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Ice cream vans who trade in Torfaen without permission could face investigation

ice creams cones

ICE cream vans operating without permission to trade can be subject to investigation in Torfaen.

Street trading in Torfaen requires consent from the borough council, which is to launch a review of its policy after members of its general licensing committee gave the go-ahead. 

Cllr Elizabeth Haynes, who represents St Dials in Cwmbran, said she was concerned at traders, often ice cream sellers, from further away who set up for a short period of time and trade without gaining the required consent from the council. 

The independent councillor said: “They tend to advertise at 3pm and open up for a few hours in the evening and get away with it. There’s an unfairness there for others.” 

At the committee meeting she asked the council’s team leader for licensing and trading standards, Claire Howells, how the authority deals with such traders. 

Ms Howells said if officers become aware of such trading, sometimes through traders advertising on social media that they will be in a particular location, officers will aim to visit them, including after office hours, to make them aware of local regulations. 

She added: “If we only become aware after the event we will investigate and try to obtain details, such as vehicle registration numbers, and will contact them and make them aware of the consent requirements in Torfaen.” 

The council has previously designated four areas where there is a ban on trading.

Those are:

  • The A472 Pontymoile Gyratory, Crumlin Road;
  • The A4043 Pontypool Western bypass, including St Lukes Road, Snatchwood Road, Broad Street, New Road and Cwmavon Road;
  • The A4051 Cwmbran Drive;
  • Treherbert Road in Croesyceiliog. 

All other areas require permission to trade from the council.

The authority issues licences for permanent pitches which are due to increase by 30p to £385.71 from April, £238.93 for a renewal, and £172.19 for short-term or seasonal permissions. Licences to trade for a single day will remain at £75. 

At present 22 traders hold street trading consents, including 19 static traders who trade from one site, such as hot food vans, and three mobile traders with identified routes such as ice cream vans. 

In the current financial year there have been two complaints alleging unlicensed traders have been operating in the borough with five such complaints in the previous year and six in 2020/21. 

The council is now set to consult with street traders, councillors, the police, highways officials and others to see if areas of the street trading policy, adopted in 2009, should be reviewed. 

A revised policy could then be drafted by officers which will be examined by councillors on the licensing committee and a further 12 week consultation would take place before a final policy would be submitted for the approval of the committee. 

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Ice cream vans who trade in Torfaen without permission could face investigation