A FAMILY business is warning it may have to lay off staff due to new rules requiring Mansfield street traders to pay hundreds of pounds for licences.
Family Bakers, based on Ratcliffe Gate, spoke out after the catering company was asked to pay out £550 for a licence for each of its entire fleet of seven vans.
Bosses have organised a petition against the move attracting 1,000 signatures and said the total £3,850 bill was unfair.
Mansfield District Council brought in the street trade licensing scheme in March in a bid to better regulate the sale of food in the area.
Company training manager David Hawkins argued the rules were unjust because the firm’s vans only make one regular stop on a public street.
Other stops take place in businesses car parks or other private land, he said. “We believe this is wrong and the rules need to be re-written,” he added.
“It’s probably going to end up with us having to make a couple of staff redundant.”
The firm was set up in the town around 30 years ago, today employing around 25 people.
Staff sell lunches and hot and cold cobs from the shop and make deliveries and sell food in its fleet of vans.
The firm’s stance is being backed by Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale, who said: “The council is putting at risk a very good local business that’s been going for years.
“I think the council has got the wrong end of the stick when it comes to them stopping in car parks.”
Mr Hawkins said the firm’s one stop on a street takes place outside the Manor School, Mansfield Woodhouse.
The council’s licensing committee discussed the issue of vans stopping there and the resulting litter dropped by customers when it passed the new rules in March.
Coun Peter Crawford, chairman of the authority’s licensing committee, said the changes were brought in to ensure all traders “operate safely in respect of food hygiene and to monitor the locations of where they trade”.
Added Coun Crawford: “Even if the trader is selling on private land they may still require a consent if the area falls under the definition of a street.
“As part of the fee structure they (Family Bakers) are able to pay half of the fee for each vehicle on application and the other half in six months.”
The authority added it had received payment for and issued four other annual licences for street trading since the rule came in.