Somerset

New rules for Bath's street traders voted in by council

Bath street trader pitch Image copyright BANES
Image caption The council will require city centre street traders to have a 'pastel coloured canopy' by January 2017

New regulations covering the size, structure and appearance of street traders' pitches in Bath have been voted through.

Bath and North East Somerset Council (Banes) also wants healthy eating and local food promoted.

Traders will be required to use more uniform stalls with a "pastel coloured canopy" by January 2017 to "fit in" with the city's World Heritage status.

Some have already expressed concern at the changes.

Under the proposals, buskers who play on the street and sell CDs of their own music will need street trading consent.

Ed Collacott, who has been selling fine art photographs on a stall for 25 years, said street sellers were "one of the delights" of Bath.

"There are some amazing street traders here selling very different things and each one of us is an individual," he added.

"To have everything under the same canopy might not look great and it certainly wouldn't be good for my photos."

'Stick to the rules'

However, Liberal Democrat deputy leader of the council, David Dixon said the changes were designed to make things look better and ensure everyone was working to the same objective.

"Our street trading scene in Bath is one of the most varied you'll find in any city," he added.

"We're not making a huge overhaul of the street trading policy whatsoever. It's time for our renewal [and] we did an excellent consultation.

"We had a trial over the past year for the new style canopies, which actually went down very well."

Mr Dixon said the council would be prepared to help stall holders with the changes but added they would be expected to stick to the rules.

The council also intends to purchase a number of units, for both existing and new traders, which could be rented if necessary.

Sark Kenny, who runs a stall selling leather goods, said the changes to his canopy would cost him about £400, but he thought it might cost some traders up to £800.

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