The Street Trading Policy Consultation

We have been actively participating in the Street Trading Consultation both in writing and through a series of consultation briefings and discussions and have been pleased to see many of the issues we have raised addressed in the latest proposals. Our remaining observations about the emerging policies are:

Part of the “vision” is to ensure “that public spaces become active spaces”. Our view is that it is important that not all public spaces should or need to be “active” we also need spaces that are quiet and passive

There is a focus in the policy on the number of stalls that should be allowed in particular locations we think this is the wrong starting point. It’s not an issue about numbers it’ s about the amount of space they take up, both their allocated space or the space they occupy in practice.

We support the idea of assessment criteria because it is important that Bath as a destination is managed with focused on high quality and diversity not just trading volume.

The council say they are exploring other ways of managing street trading on a day to day basis.  This could be by the Council as it is currently, or through a third party. Here, the key issue for residents is enforcement of the agreed policy’s and rules and we will support whatever delivers this most effectively.
The policy proposals call for the creation of markets that “should be beneficial to the local area”. We believe that this should mean that they should add to the local retail offer not merely compete with it. They should be managed to minimize disruption to local residents. They should where possible offer benefits to local residents such as discounts. special access or contributions to local community organisations and causes.

One group that is often negatively impacted by street traders are people with mobility issues and we believe much more thought needs to be given to their needs and issues in navigating the city centre.