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The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has written to local authorities asking them to relax licensing enforcement and reduce licensing fees.
Emran Mian, Director-General for Decentralisation & Local Growth at the MHCLG, wrote in a letter dated 18 June 2020:
“We are aware that some local authorities have separate licensing arrangements for street trading and street furniture. Given the current situation, you should not seek to undertake enforcement action which would result in unnecessarily restricting outdoor stalls during this period, having regard to your legal obligations and access for pedestrians.
“There is wide variation in fees for these licences. In some areas these are as low as £115, and we would encourage all authorities to consider whether their fees are set at an appropriate level.
“Finally, you should minimise the time to process these applications, aiming to process applications within five days of the end of the statutory consultation period.”
Mr Mian also said: “To boost outdoor trade, we would also encourage local authorities to explore options to set up more outdoor markets.
“As you work to accommodate further reopenings, we would suggest that you proactively contact hospitality businesses in your local area to ensure they understand the guidance and ask whether they wish to make use of the opportunities available to them. The government will continue to offer guidance, but local businesses will need local authorities to work with them as they plan for the weeks ahead.”