Consultation on Birmingham City Council’s Proposed Street Trading Policy 2020

Closed 23 Feb 2020

Opened 16 Dec 2019

Overview

Birmingham City Council is the Licensing Authority responsible for considering applications for a range of activities that require a street trading consent under Schedule 4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 referred to in this policy as “the Act”.

The aim of this Street Trading Policy is to create a street trading environment which is sensitive to the needs of the public and businesses, provides quality consumer choice and contributes to the character and ambience of the local environment whilst ensuring public safety, and preventing crime, disorder and nuisance.

We are seeking views on our proposed street trading policy, which regulates what trading happens on or near the street. This consultation is open from 16 December 2019 until 23 February 2020.

Why We Are Consulting

Why do we have street trading?

Street trading can aid the local economy and contribute to the facilities offered to people who visit, live and work in Birmingham and it supports the Birmingham City Council’s priorities:

  • Birmingham is an entrepreneurial city to learn, work and invest in
  • Birmingham is a great city to live in

When street trading is managed well, it adds variety and vibrancy to the local area, as well as creating jobs and allowing entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their businesses. The increase in the number of people visiting the area also has a positive impact on nearby shops.

The Council oversees street trading to ensure that the public are kept safe and that traders don’t cause a disturbance, obstruct walkways and lines of sight at road junctions or the ability of other businesses to trade.

What’s in place at the moment?

Currently all streets in Birmingham are designated as “consent streets” which means that businesses can apply to trade from any street in Birmingham. This has been the case since 1984 when the legal provisions were adopted.

What’s the proposed plan?

The Council wants to ensure that the street trading in Birmingham enhances the retail offer to customers and also is reflective of the many changes to the infrastructure and public realm of Birmingham.  

The proposed policy would introduce different types of consents that would enable occasional and mobile trading in addition to the current annual consent.  Red routes and metro routes would be designated as “prohibited streets” where no street trading would be allowed, thus ensuring public safety is enhanced.

In order to ensure street trading enhances the retail offer it is proposed to introduce a design brief to assist prospective traders in making sure their street trading unit best fits in with its surroundings.

Within the policy there will be restrictions to make sure that traders don’t set up in inappropriate locations like residential areas, pedestrian routes or block the sight lines into shops or their entrances. The policy will also ensure that goods sold will complement neighboring businesses and will restrict the sale of certain goods that have negative public health outcomes especially in the vicinity of schools.

This new approach will ensure that Birmingham street trading supports:

  • Public safety
  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • An enhanced retail offer
  • Prevention of public nuisance

Fees and charges

As the City Council looks to completely reshape its approach to street trading, it may be that fees and charges change too. The Council won’t charge traders more than it costs to process and enforce a licence.

Consultation Documents

The Draft Street Trading Policy 2020 can found at the end of this page below the “Give Us Your Views” section.

Areas

  • CITY-WIDE

Audiences

  • All residents

Interests

  • N/A