Trader’s fury over fee to put out tables and chairs

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A HAIRDRESSER has spoken of his anger after being told to remove a table and chairs from outside his salon.

For the past few months Mike Joines has had a small table and four metal chairs outside Zoom Hairdressing in Park Parade, Leigh Park.

The table was put out whenever it was sunny so customers could sit outside as they waited for their appointment.

But Mr Joines was shocked when he received a letter from Havant Borough Council.

It informed him the table had to be removed immediately as he needed a licence.

Applying for a licence would cost him £320 – with £130 to renew the licence after a year.

Mr Joines said: ‘We only put four chairs and one table out to try to create a cosmopolitan, continental feel to the parade, which was something small to help attract more customers and make the regular customers feel good about coming to Park Parade.

‘In the summer months I thought it would be nice to allow our customers to sit outside in the sun while waiting for their hair cut.

‘In the rain they cannot even be used and we have had a lot of that this year.’

Mr Joines, a member of Leigh Park Traders’ Association, was angry as he feels the fees are too high for this area.

The association has spent the last year bringing in new shops and trying to liven up the parade.

The 50-year-old added: ‘Wake up Havant council – it’s a deprived area in need of regeneration.’

The council’s legal officer April Shilstone said: ‘Government policy is to encourage a cafe-style culture in the UK.

‘The council embraces this aim and recognises that the placing of tables and chairs in pedestrian areas for public use to consume food and drink enhances this culture.

‘Where the pavement concerned is part of the public highway a licence will need to be obtained under section 115 of the Highways Act 1980.

‘This is to ensure that space is available for the safe and free movement of all highway users and that consideration is given to the location of tables and chairs in terms of possible noise disturbance for local residents and other business owners.

‘All premises in Havant that have tables and chairs on the public highway are required to have a licence and pay the annual fee for renewal.’