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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Exorbitant charges, officious Haringey Council enforcement, and fines for small businesses putting tables and chairs out for their punters to enjoy the sun

Traders in the Bowes Park and Bounds Green Area have been hit this year by exorbitant charges, officious Council enforcement, fines and the threat of fines for putting tables and chairs out on the pavement for their punters to enjoy the sun. 

A group of regulars at The Prince pub (on the Bounds Green Road by the Obelisk) have been lobbying local Councillors to investigate this issue since March this year after the pub was fined for putting furniture on the Obelisk green and outside the pub itself. The leaseholders are more than willing to apply for a street trading licence for outside tables and chairs with a reasonable fee, and absolutely no one is disputing the need for council regulation. The issue here is that Haringey's street trading licence fees are both punitive and out of line with other London Boroughs. ln fact, they are so disproportionate, we believe there must be some mistake:

Eight different London Boroughs (including Camden, Islington, Westminster and K&C) were compared with Haringey to show the extreme difference between the cost to have tables and chairs outside in Haringey versus other London Boroughs. No other London Borough researched charges by the week per square metre. Haringey charges are almost seven times the next most expensive Borough for having two tables and four barrels outside the pub, and more than eleven times more expensive if three tables are used on the Obelisk Green. What started in the pub is now an issue that is negatively affecting traders and investors involved in the community-led 
regeneration of Myddleton Road and, probably, the whole of Haringey.

Here's the original letter to local Councillors dated 25/03/19 detailing our findings and grievances. The stats make for startling reading:

Letter to Councillors 25/03/19

Traders affected should check the Land Registry for the boundaries of their property. Some of the original buildings now retailing in Haringey had front gardens included in the boundary. In more enlightened parts of Town, these boundaries are discreetly marked with metal studs on the pavement.

We have had no concrete response from elected politicians other than a vague promise from ward Councillors to meet with the traders affected in our patch. However, I am sure this is a Borough-wide issue that demands a Borough-wide response

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I wonder if the kebab shop owners and grimgrocers of Harringay pay similar amounts for permission to take up the footpath with their tables and wares?

That's crazy, I deal with a lot of licencing applications for clients at work and these charges are way out of line if correct. Have you put in a FOI request for details of the complaint and the records around it?

The next step

Thanks Richard for raising awareness of our plight!

To give an indication of these unfair charges, if indeed they are actually due to be paid,

and not on private forecourts for retailers and business owners in our area,

I have compiled the following illustration;

Annual licence fee £75

2 tables and 8 chairs would take up approximately 8 square metres

The fee would be £15 per square metre per week, hence fee would be £120 weekly

Annual cost to business = £6315

The appropriate thing for the council to do is abolish the weekly amount and simply charge a £75 licence fee

to cover their administration costs only.

They should not be allowed to profit from businesses!

Business rates cover income to the council from businesses.

In our street I have never once seen a street cleaner sweep around such items, so what are they charging for?

Its pure profiteering at the expense of small businesses, which this present government vowed to help in their manifesto!

You should highlight it on Twitter. The council only seems to act when its publicly embarrassed.

Yes, the whip-hand of publicity! If anyone's got access to the Twittersphere and can highlight this t'Council, that would be helpful

How about a complaint to the government ombudsman highlighting the financial disparity; https://www.lgo.org.uk/make-a-complaint

Noted with thanks - but let's give t'Council an opportunity to respond first

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