Venue: By Microsoft Teams
Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604392
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors George Freeman, Jean Moffat and Alastair Redman.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
CIVIC GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1982: APPLICATION FOR AMENDMENT OF A STREET TRADER LICENCE (R ROBERTSON, ARROCHAR)
Report by Head of Legal and Regulatory Support
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. In line with recent legislation for Civic Government Hearings, and following the Council’s current approach to the Coronavirus pandemic, the parties (and any representatives) were given the options for participating in the meeting today. The options available were by Video Call, by Audio Call or by written submission. For this hearing the Applicant and Objector opted to proceed by way of Video Call and they both joined the meeting by Microsoft Teams.
The Chair outlined the procedure that would be followed and invited the Applicant to speak in support of her application.
Albert Robertson spoke on behalf of the Applicant, Rebecca Robertson. Referring to various letters, emails and photographs on a power point presentation, he advised that Miss Robertson had held her licence for just over a year. She had been offered a new pitch from Luss Estates at the beginning of April. This was within the new south car park in Luss. She was advised that it was on private land and that she would probably not require a street trader’s licence. He said that Miss Robertson had contacted the Licensing Team at Kilmory to find out if a street trader’s licence would be required on private land. She received no reply and tried to make contact again on 18 April 2021 to ask for advice.
On 29 April 2021 Miss Robertson received an email from the Licensing Team to advise that she should apply for an amendment to her current street trader’s licence. No comment was made about whether this was for trading on private or public land. He advised that Miss Robertson submitted her paperwork and did not hear anything further until 26 May 2021. The Licensing Team contacted Miss Robertson to advise her that she needed to amend the paperwork she had submitted and that she would need a street trader’s licence even though she would be trading on private land. At this point Mr Robertson drew the Committee’s attention to Section 39 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act. He said that this section talked about street trader’s licences only being required for trading in a public place. He said that the advice given to Miss Robertson from the Licensing Team was incorrect.
He then advised that Miss Robertson received a further email from the Licensing Team the next day giving details on what would happen next. He said that at the bottom of the email Miss Robertson was advised to keep trading as usual. Miss Robertson had taken that to mean that she could continue to trade at the new south car park in Luss. Mr Robertson said that this new pitch had been ready by the beginning of May, that Miss Robertson did not want to give up such a lucrative pitch, and that her old pitch would no longer be available. He said that an explanation was also given why there had been a delay in the Licensing Team getting back in touch with Miss Robertson.
On 16 June 2021, he said that Miss Robertson received a further email from the Licensing Team to advise that a complaint had been made about her continuing to trade at the south car park in Luss. He advised that Miss Robertson thought she was allowed to continue to trade there and that she had heard nothing about a complaint. He commented that they thought this complaint had come from a lady about a planning application issue. He said that Miss Robertson stopped trading on 15 June 2021. He referred to takings sheets on a slide to show that Miss Robertson did not trade from then until 11 July.
He then referred to a letter dated 11 June 2021 from a Solicitor from the Council to the complainant. He commented that he was not sure if there had been a breach of Data Protection legislation as the letter contained full and frank details about Miss Robertson’s licence. The letter did not mention planning permission and it did not mention that the site may be on private property. He said that the letter indicated that Miss Robertson had been told not to trade. He pointed out that the Licensing Team had not been in touch with Miss Robertson until 15 June 2021. He said that the letter advised that Miss Robertson would not be trading until the licence application was dealt with. He advised that it looked like the same lady had sent in other complaint on 22 June 2021 advising that Miss Robertson was trading on 12 June 2021 and that she was in breach of her licence. He confirmed that Miss Robertson had been trading on that date as she thought from the advice given in email dated 11 June 2021 that she could continue to trade.
Mr Robertson advised that he was a retired Police Inspector. He said there was very little evidence in photographs from the Objector as to what Miss Robertson was doing in the van. He said that the second complaint appeared to be a direct result of the letter sent by the Council’s Solicitor on 11 June 2021. He said this was not an objection but an allegation of an offence against Miss Robertson trading in breach of her licence. He commented that he was not sure if this could be dealt with as an objection. He then advised that the second part of the objection referred to over provision. He said that over provision was a difficult issue for the Council to decide on and that he was not sure if this was a street trading issue. He suggested that this objection was invalid. He said that Miss Robertson stopped trading when advised to do so. She was advised that there would be a hearing but not for at least 8 weeks.
Mr Robertson pointed out that Miss Robertson had submitted her application back in April 2021. He said that to not be dealt with for 5 months was a long time ... view the full minutes text for item 3.