The topic of street trading in Tenby has arisen again ahead of another holiday season, with one local county councillor imploring the Local Authorities to finally clampdown on the selling of what they referred to as ‘tat’ on the seaside town’s streets.
Down the years, mainly since pedestrianisation was introduced for the centre of the seaside town, several business owners within the walled town and councillors have called for Pembrokeshire County Council to make a concerted effort to tackle ongoing issues of unauthorised street trading in Tudor Square and its surrounding streets.
Action has long been called for by town and county councillors to combat ‘pedlars’ blocking the town’s streets, walkways and historical areas such as the Five Arches, but a recently revised street trading policy by the Local Authority seemingly does not cover those providing services such as hair braiding and mobile tattooists, as they do not fall within the definition of ‘street trading’ under the Local Government act, with a report stating that - “oversight and enforcement of pedlar activity is a police matter.”
One business owner in the centre of Tenby, previously told the Observer: “For the best part of a decade local businesses and residents within the town walls of Tenby have been lobbying and petitioning for the removal of an old by-law which allows pedlars and service providers such as mobile tattooists and hair braiders to operate within the town walls.
“Retailers, cafes and restaurants go to great lengths to make their properties look appealing and attractive on top of paying premium rates to afford positions within the town walls - yet beyond a dozen street traders can come in to the town during peak season, occupy pavements or any area they so wish to sell their wares, usually on some awful looking cart that they have wheeled in, creating a tacky looking market atmosphere!
“Pembrokeshire County Council don’t seem interested in policing the matter at all!” they added.
Now, County councillor for Tenby’s North Ward Cllr Michael Williams has once again contacted PCC’s streetcare manager Marc Owen; Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change Cllr Paul Miller; and Cabinet Member for Residents' Services and Leisure Cllr Rhys Sinnett on the topic of unauthorised trading within the town.
“Easter looms, and we can expect the arrival of hair braiders and tattooists and other tat over this period and throughout the season!” stated Cllr Williams in his correspondence.
“I do understand the legal difficulties in addressing these issues, but I feel that we need to support the existing businesses in the town centre as the trading base is currently very fragile.
“We are fortunate in still being able to offer a substantial quality retail offer which deserves the support of the Local Authority. One of the best ways to offer support would be to actively investigate ways of preventing these itinerant operations within the conservation area.
“I would request that PCC consider the option of setting up a task and finish group, which would involve representatives of Tenby’s Chamber of Commerce, together with officers and appropriate legal advice from within PCC, and if necessary, seeking advice from other authorities who might have succeeded in abolishing this blight?
“Tudor Square is one of the most attractive town squares in Wales and is very negatively affected by the annual arrival of itinerant traders, the square could be sensitively developed as the core of the town,” he added.