'Difficult situation': Mendip advises Wells Market Place traders over outside seating

  Posted: 31.07.20 at 16:33 by Tim Lethaby

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Mendip District Council has defended its officers speaking to traders in Wells Market Place today (July 31) regarding outside seating, saying it is a "difficult situation".

A number of people took to social media to complain about the action, praising the atmosphere in the Market Place with the outside seating.

However, a spokesperson for Mendip said no one was asked to remove tables and chairs from pavements, but they were encouraged to apply for the necessary pavement licence.

The spokesperson said: "Mendip District Council has provided business in Wells Market Place with advice regarding tables and chairs being placed on the highway.

"It is a legal requirement that the business must hold a Pavement Licence to place such items on the highway and they are only to be placed on the pavement and not the road as the council has a duty of care in promoting public safety.

"The council understands that this is a difficult situation and also of the need to balance the safety of pedestrians with the economic impact on the businesses.

"All businesses were given advice, were not asked to remove table and chairs from the pavement, and encouraged to apply for pavement licences."

The Market Place has recently been closed to traffic to enable safe shopping and to encourage trade in the wake of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus pandemic has cost Somerset taxpayers more than £3 million as a result of recycling centres being closed and new bin collections ...