March 30, 2012
Its exciting, even if long overdue, to hear the Government plans to issue a consultation on draft regulations to make it easier for street traders to set up and conduct legitimate business on the street.
This was mentioned today, March 30, in the Governments response to the Portas Review
In the Review, recommendation number 5 states “Make it easier for people to become market traders by removing unnecessary regulations so that anyone can trade on the High Street unless there is a valid reason why not”
As I am currently researching this very topic for an article, I couldn’t agree more, it is clearly apparent that something needs to be done to address the inconsistencies across the many District, Borough and Town Councils as well as the numerous Private operators in the Country, when it comes to applying to be a market trader.
In fact, the inconsistencies are cavernous when it comes to the process required to begin trading.
At one end of the spectrum, there are markets where prospective traders, can simply turn up and trade, within reason of course, and in my opinion, this is exactly how it should be. I have operated five very successful markets and all relied on the accessibility for prospective traders to join without any unnecessary paperwork or processes.
Yet there are other markets where the applicant is made to jump through a number of successive hoops while simultaneously reciting the national anthem.
As an example, at one Council the applicant must first get approval to trade, to do this they have to register as a market trader and to do this you are required to supply numerous pieces of information, including but not limited to, passports, passport photos, National insurance number, utility bills, bank details, tax details, multiple contact numbers, the list goes on and on, its incredible, anybody would think you are applying for a mortgage not trying to set up a stall. But wait, there’s more, you then have to apply for a second licence, permanent or casual, read about 35 pages of information, go to different locations to submit your details and pay for you licences and apply for and get public liability insurance, all before you can even think about setting up.
I am sure some Councils will vehemently defend their right to continue to collect ludicrous amounts of useless information, multiple passport size photos and probably, if they had the chance, a urine sample! from prospective traders, because they simply don’t get it.
The fact is, this is doing nothing to assist the industry and is in fact detrimental in that, the complexity of the system is precluding the very people whom make this industry so vibrant in the first place.
So I welcome the consultation on draft regulation and hope that the industry can pull together and apply some common sense to this process, remove the unnecessary barriers and start to support new traders, encourage them, and give them every opportunity to become part of this wonderful industry.
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