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Second attempt at Southwark ice cream ban after council blunder

Southwark Council has been forced to make a second attempt at banning ice cream vans from the riverside area after a failure to follow correct procedure.

Ice cream van
An ice cream van parked on the pavement in Southwark Street in April 2010

Although the licensing committee first decided on a ban in the summer this is not now likely to come into force until this winter at the earliest.

The council plans to ban itinerant ice cream selling in the riverside streets from Oxo Tower Wharf in the west to St Saviour's Dock in the east. The southern boundary will be Southwark Street and St Thomas Street.

Under the plans agreed by the committee street trading will be restricted to two licensed pitches outside Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe.

Licensed street busking will be confined to a spot just west of the Millennium Bridge.

The council announced a ban to start on Wednesday 25 August but to meet this date a legal notice should have been issued the day after the licensing committee's meeting on Tuesday 27 July.

A notice of the proposed ban was published on Thursday 12 August which proved to be ineffective as a minimum of 28 days must elapse between the first publication of the notice and the implementation date. It is also required that the implementation date must be no less than 31 days after the committee meeting.

This Tuesday evening councillors agreed without debate or raising any questions to fix a new implementation date of Monday 1 November. To meet this tight deadline the council will have to publish a legal notice this week.

Bankside residents have repeatedly called for a ban on ice cream vans parked with engines running near flats and outside Shakespeare's Globe.

This summer Riverside ward safer neighbourhoods team mounted a separate crackdown on ice cream vans blocking the Tooley Street pavement outside the London Dungeon.

"We initially gave a number of tickets to the ice cream van drivers," Sgt Rob Evans told Bermondsey Community Council this week.

"Their view was that it was just a tax and it made very little impact on their business.

"So, one day, we decided to work with Southwark Council officers and we seized the van for a few days while we made enquiries.

"We invited the owner of the ice cream company into Rotherhithe Police Station and gave him some very strong words of advice.

"Since that day his ice cream vans have not been down Tooley Street."

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