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South Bank ice cream sellers: Lambeth Council obtains interim injunctions

Lambeth Council says it has successfully obtained interim injunctions in the High Court preventing two street traders from operating in the South Bank area.

The council went to the High Court to seek injunctions against two street traders who had persistently sold ice cream from vans along the South Bank around Westminster Bridge, flouting a ban on unlicensed trading.

"The South Bank is one of London's most popular tourist destinations and we're determined to do everything in our powers to tackle cowboy traders who try to operate there," says Cllr Jack Hopkins, Lambeth's cabinet member for public protection.

"I hope this sends a clear message that we are prepared to use all legal powers at our disposal to protect the public and crack down on unlicensed traders who clearly believe they are above the law."

Working closely with the South Bank Employers' Group, the council took the unusual step of seeking injunctions against Elma Sanli and Ndue Meli.

Despite being taken to magistrates' courts on a number of previous occasions by Lambeth Council for street trading offences, the financial penalties issued by the courts were often not sufficient to deter a hard core group of illegal traders from regularly visiting the South Bank area.

On 13 June applications for interim injunctions were heard against both Ms Sanli and Mr Meli. The defendants chose not to dispute the injunction applications; they instead sought to provide the court with an 'undertaking' with regard to their future behaviour.

However, the judge accepted the council's view that the injunctions were essential in tackling unlicensed street traders who continue to flout street trading regulations.

The interim injunctions prohibit Ms Sanli and Mr Meli from trading anywhere on the South Bank and if they breach these orders, they could face a fine or imprisonment.

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