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 The Coulsdon Town Blog
 
Cllr  Luke  Clancy
Cllr  Mario  Creatura
Cllr  Ian  Parker
 

13 businesses stop street trading due to Labour's Sunshine Tax
26/06/2017 11:51:00......Posted by Mario Creatura

 
 

I recently sent a series of questions to the Council about the status of their 'Sunshine Tax', asking SMEs to pay to have chairs and tables outside their businesses. It's a charge that they get nothing for and adds yet more financial pressure on those entrepreneurs trying to grow their businesses.

CQ054-17 from Councillor Mario Creatura to Councillor Hamida Ali

Could the Cabinet Member please answer the following questions about the Labour Administrations Sunshine Tax please? 

  • How many businesses in the borough does the Council believe are required to pay the street-trading tax? 
  • How many businesses in the borough have actually paid the streettrading tax since implementation? 
  • How much revenue has the Council amassed since the streettrading tax was implemented? 
  • How many businesses have reached the annual cap on the fee?
  • What has been the take-up rate of the new sign up 75 per cent discount? 
  • How many hours of Council enforcement have been devoted to policing those businesses that should pay the tax to ensure they comply? Please detail, if possible, how many FTE staff have this in their job requirement.
  • How many businesses that should pay the Council's additional tax have had enforcement action as a result of non-compliance?
  • With reports of businesses closing citing the negative impact of the sunshine tax (for example 117-year-old hardware store Emerton's in South Norwood), does the Cabinet Member feel the tax is working and will it be continuing or altering the scheme over the next fiscal year?
  • How many businesses in Croydon have cited excessive locally determined taxation as their reason for closure?

Reply

Could the Cabinet Member please answer the following questions about the Labour Administrations Sunshine Tax please?

- How many businesses in the borough does the Council believe are required to pay the street-trading tax?

169 businesses currently hold a street trading licence

- How many businesses in the borough have actually paid the street-trading tax since implementation?

110 business have so far paid for their street trading licences. There are renewals due for May and others become due thereafter.

- How much revenue has the Council amassed since the street-trading tax was implemented?

From 1 May 2016, when the new fee structure went live to 24 May 2017, application income has been £79,928.

- How many businesses have reached the annual cap on the fee?

21

- What has been the take-up rate of the new sign up 75 per cent discount?

1

- How many hours of Council enforcement have been devoted to policing those businesses that should pay the tax to ensure they comply? Please detail, if possible, how many FTE staff have this in their job requirement.

3 FTE staff have this in their job requirement. In addition NSO staff are tasked with checking for street trading compliance. Other staff are involved in the administration/enforcement of the street trading licensing process as part of their duties.

- How many businesses that should pay the Council's additional tax have had enforcement action as a result of non-compliance?

Eight

- With reports of businesses closing citing the negative impact of the sunshine tax (for example 117-year-old hardware store Emerton's in South Norwood), does the Cabinet Member feel the tax is working and will it be continuing or altering the scheme over the next fiscal year?

The intention is for the current fee structure to continue. The Council has a duty to try and ensure that the costs associated with providing a street trading licence service are met by the income from the fees attached to applications for that service. The previous fee structure did not come close to providing the necessary income needed to provide a street trading service so the council were heavily subsidising this through other funding streams, which it could no longer afford to do. The previous fee structure was also unfair as there was a single fee, regardless of the size of the area so the current fee structure has rectified this by requiring people to pay by the square metre of the highway that they use. New street trading designation applications continue to be made and considered by the Council’s licensing committee. In addition, at the last committee, there were applications to increase the trading area on one licence and increase the trading hours on another licence.

- How many businesses in Croydon have cited excessive locally determined taxation as their reason for closure?

We are not aware of any businesses that have closed down as a result of the increase in fees. However, 13 businesses have so far surrendered their street trading licences citing the increase in fees as the reason for withdrawing. 

I have written back to the Cabinet Member asking the following:

'In CQ054-17 in relation to the Council Sunshine Tax, the Cabinet Member states that 13 businesses have so far surrendered their street trading licences citing the increase in fees as the reason for withdrawing.

Could the Cabinet Member please list these businesses and in doing explain whether she believes their withdrawal indicates a failure of the policy?

The answer also stated that 8 businesses have had enforcement action taken against them as a result of non-compliance. Is the Cabinet Member able to reveal who these businesses are, what the enforcement action was issued for and what the procedure was for enforcement? E.g. were fines issued and if so how much?'

Reply received:

I can confirm that 13 businesses have surrendered their street trading licence and when doing so, indicated it was because of the new fee structure. Some 169 businesses in the borough have maintained their street trading licence. The purpose of the fee review was so that the council was legitimately recouping its expenditure in providing the licensing service. So, in that respect the fee review has been a success. The vast majority of business have decided to continue with paying for street trading licenses. The fact that a small number have decided to cease trading on the street is ultimately a commercial decision for them but the council could not continue subsidising commercial activities, as it had effectively been doing previously. With respect, I do not think it is appropriate to publicly list premises who have made the decision to surrender their licence, as the question asks, as the information was provided to the council in confidence.

I can confirm that eight businesses have had enforcement action taken against them. All were issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) for overspreading, which means they were not staying within the area permitted by their licence. An FPN costs £100, reduced to £60 if the recipient pays within 14 days. Where the recipient of an FPN is a sole trader, we would not be permitted to disclose their details due to data protection requirements. Where the recipient is not a sole trader, there is a risk that disclosing their details may prejudice the commercial interests of the particular businesses. 

 
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Emergency Water Main Repair
02/06/2020 14:19:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

To carry out an emergency repair on the water main Sutton and East Surrey Water have closed Chipstead Valley Road one way from Woodcote Grove Road to Brighton Road. The diversion for displaced traffic will be via Lion Green Road and Brighton Road. The road is estimated to reopen by Friday evening 5th June. 

 


 

Cllr Report to East Coulsdon Residents' Association May 2020
16/05/2020 17:46:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

1.  A huge thank you to all who have contributed to the tremendous community spirit that's existed and continues to exist in Coulsdon during the epidemic. There are a number of positives that have come out of the nightmare especially the way volunteers have worked together to fight this invisible enemy. 

2.  Thank you to the Coulsdon children who have submitted an entry for our ward councillors 'Posters of Hope' competition. The closing date is 1st June so it's not too late to enter. 

3.  As ward councillors we have been in touch with the care homes in the ward and have offered our services if required.

4.  I've helped a number of Coulsdon businesses seeking grants from the Council. £60m was passed quickly by central government to Croydon but there's evidence that Croydon has been slow to pass it on.

5. I was accepted as an Emergency Response Volunteer in support of Croydon residents. As such my services were and still are available for Croydon's most vulnerable. 

6.  I've done numerous shopping trips for the vulnerable, particularly elderly residents and offered my services to a Coulsdon pharmacist to help with prescription deliveries. 

7.  I was privileged to be able to help deliver parcels to Coulsdon veterans on VE Day. 

8. Planning Committees have resumed in virtual format with 5 members rather than the usual 10.  The first virtual committee I'll serve on will be in a week's time. 

9.  As a group of councillors we've had virtual meetings with the Chief Exec and other senior officers and also with the Chief Exec at CUH whose main message was for non Covid-19 patients to keep on using their services without fear. 

10. Our Councillor monthly street stalls/surgeries will resume in due course. 

11.  We're pretty certain the Yulefest won't won't go ahead this year but we hope to maintain the Christmas lights through our community ward budgets. 

12.  As ward councillors, we've contributed to a pot which improves facilities for Croydon:s nurses. 

I'll be happy to answer any questions at Wednesday's virtual meeting. 

STAY ALERT, CONTROL THE VIRUS, SAVE LIVES

Cllr Ian Parker - May 2020 

 


 

Thank you Croydon Veterans
08/05/2020 13:27:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

As we celebrate VE Day, I'm feeling particularly privileged to be delivering parcels today to Croydon's veterans. We owe them so much. Lest we forget.

 


 

Labour's Folly
05/04/2020 22:02:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Family homes in Croydon being replaced by flats at an unprecedented rate. Surely now Labour will see the folly of threatening our green spaces as their need grows. Time for a major, long overdue rethink me thinks.

 


 

Coronavirus Volunteering
02/04/2020 23:15:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Delighted to have been accepted as an Emergency Response Volunteer in support of Croydon residents. I'm proud of how Croydonians are pulling together, particularly Coulsdon residents, to fight this invisible enemy.

 


 

Stay home, save lives
23/03/2020 12:48:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura

 
 

During the Coronavirus situation, it’s really important that we all keep on top of the Government guidance to keep our families and our community safe.

The Government is responding to the latest scientific data, so it’s likely that it will change on a regular basis. Please take special care to follow the advice on official websites:

There is a lot of unreliable information out there, so do try your best to think critically about what it is you are reading particularly if it’s shared on social media. It’s never been more vital that we react sensibly and rationally for the sake of our health.

Helping in the community

So many incredible people are out helping in the community during this situation. If you want to lend a hand then I would urge you to go through the Croydon Voluntary Association. They co-ordinate volunteering across the whole borough so by going through them you can be sure that the service you’re providing is for a legitimate need: https://cvalive.org.uk/

In Coulsdon we are lucky to be served by a number of hardworking local residents’ associations. They are always on the lookout for volunteers to help in the community, so do please consider contacting them to keep in the loop with local news and activities:

We are also always in need of road stewards for our Neighbourhood Watch. If you’re keen to sign up as a co-ordinator and help our local police then get in touch. Keeping an eye on our streets and sharing information will keep everyone (especially isolated vulnerable residents) safe: https://www.cbnwa.com/

If you need help

All councilors are working around the clock to help our communities. Hopefully you will understand that during this time of social distancing we will not be able to hold our regular street surgeries. But we local councilors are always here for you. If you need help please email us at any time and we can arrange to videoconference or speak to you on the phone:

Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives

Please do your best to stay at home. If you do that you will reduce your chances of getting infected and reduce the chance of passing the virus on to vulnerable family members and neighbours. That will reduce the pressure on the NHS, and in turn will help to save lives.

We will get through this by working together, following official guidance and supporting each other.

Do get in touch if I can help at all.

Mario

 

 


 

South London Downs National Nature Reserve
26/07/2019 10:47:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I joined Natural England and The City of London Corporation in celebrating the declaration of The South London Downs National Nature Reserve.  It's the second largest NNR in London and will include Coulsdon, Kenley and Riddlesdown Commons, Farthing Downs, Happy Valley, Hawkhirst Wood and the Sanderstead to Whyteleafe Countryside area.  On the edge of a large urban area, the declaration represents and underlines the importance of these well loved places for wildlife and local people.

We should fight to protect these areas and treasure them for future generations. 

 


 

Purley & Coulsdon Clubs for the Elderly
24/07/2019 15:17:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I was pleased to attend the Annual General Meeting of this local charity.  The object of the charity is to provide 'relief for older people within the immediate area in any manner which may be deemed by law to be charitable, in particualr by the provision of activities which meet their social health and educational needs such as luncheon care and recreational programmes'.

At the AGM we heard from Sarah Crane the Club's co-ordinator.  It was reassuring to hear that the Club is fulfilling its objectives with a wide range of activities aimed at the elderly.

Coulsdon Town councillors were in a position to provide funding to the organisation from our ward budgets and we wish the Club, its Committee and all its volunteers every success in the coming year. 

 


 

Coulsdon Comrades Club
30/06/2019 17:20:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

It was fantastic to join members of the Coulsdon Comrades Club at their centenary celebrations yesterday.  Those present learnt a lot about the huge contributions and sacrifices made by Coulsdon residents 

The Coulsdon branch of the Comrades of the Great War Club was formed on the present site in 1919. With 400 members, the Club continues to thrive and provides a friendly atmosphere for members and their family and friends.

It was a pleasure to meet key volunteers and recognise the valuable service they provide to the community.

 


 

Coulsdon Junior Snooker Programme - Summer 2019
26/06/2019 11:22:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura

 
 

Frames Snooker Academy (CR5 2NF) will be hosting a series of fun and engaging introductory snooker sessions for new players aged 10-16, as part of a national programme. These sessions are only £1 to attend.

The scheme will also develop a selection of ‘Young Leaders’ (aged 14-16), who will learn skills such as marketing, safe sport delivery, and in creating an engaging club experience for all.  They will become role models, encouraging other young people to take up our sport by joining their local club.

Email briancox147@gmail.com for more information!

Click here to download

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
18/06/2019
Coulsdon Town Street Stall/Surgeries
17/06/2019
Residents' Association meeting
15/06/2019
Street surgery - plus new dates!
25/05/2019
Coulsdon Town Street Stall - and Cut It Out 2019!
05/05/2019
30k for local cancer charity!
03/05/2019
Coulsdon shops close due to Labour inaction
25/04/2019
A night(mare) at Planning Committee
17/04/2019
Coulsdon Town Street Stall
17/04/2019
Vaisakhi Celebration
09/04/2019
Music Relief Foundation
05/03/2019
A23 Brighton Road Improvements - Coulsdon Concerns
03/03/2019
Public Transport Liaison panel
08/02/2019
Bus Consultation - 404 and 434
31/01/2019
Development at 76 Reddown Road
28/01/2019
Memorial Service
17/01/2019
Transport for London proposing changes to bus routes 404 and 434
17/01/2019
Councillors' Street Stalls
02/01/2019
Illegal discharge on Cane Hill
27/12/2018
Damaged parking pole
24/12/2018
Speed limit sign knocked down
19/12/2018
Dust and mud on Cane Hill
18/12/2018
Lights on Coulsdon Town footbridge repaired
03/12/2018
Would Labour apologise to the vulnerable residents it's been letting down?
16/11/2018
Superb scouting send-off for Steve
13/11/2018
Coulsdon Town paint markings
11/11/2018
Remembrance Sunday
30/10/2018
Pay-to-use cash machines
29/10/2018
The mystery of the missing fireworks banner...
28/10/2018
Air pollution concern at Coulsdon South station
15/10/2018
Evolving the suburbs
 
 
 
 
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