The jolly jingle of a nearby ice cream van is a sure sign of the approach of summer.Yup, in a recession, the best thing Harrow council can think to do is ensure it’s harder for people to earn a living!
But the familiar sound could soon be a thing of the past if council officials have their way.
They are banning ice cream vendors from parking in residential streets for fear they will cause a nuisance or make children fat.
Traders who break the rules are being moved on by police within as little as five minutes.Hah! Try getting them to come out to a burglary that quick!
Earlier this week, officers moved on Kypros Kimonos five minutes after he parked his van in a Harrow street. His customers were brusquely told to go home.There’s a nice Catch 22 – you need a piece of paper to work, but the piece of paper doesn’t officially exist! Sounds oddly familiar!
The 50-year- old from Wembley said: ‘They told me they would arrest me because I did not have a licence to trade.
But I spoke to the council and they told me there is no way I can get one – it does not exist.
‘There are at least 20 ice cream vans on the streets of Harrow, does this mean they all have to go away immediately?
A spokesman for Harrow’s environmental health department said the council had banned vendors from all public land including parks and streets.‘We have been very lax’, have we?
He added: ‘Police are clamping down on it now – we have been very lax. The same applies for hotdog vans, burger vans, any type of vans.’
I wonder, has there been a flood of irate council tax payers demanding to have fewer choices of food vendor in their area? No? Well then, ‘we’ don’t need to worry about it, do ‘we’...?
Or have ‘we’ forgotten that ‘we’ work for us?
Angela Mawle, of the UK Public Health Association, said research was needed to see if a ban on ice cream vans would work.No, Angela, councils should not be thinking about how they can promote healthy communities. That’s not why we have councils.
‘Ice cream is a fattening product, a luxury item. Councils need to start thinking about how they can promote healthy communities,’ she said. ‘However, the priority should be fast food.’
They should be thinking about keeping the streets clean and well maintained, the potholes to a minimum, helping (not hindering) businesses and ensuring the basic services are in place and work promptly.
No one, but no one, pays council tax for this type of council ‘action’...