Saturday 16 August 2008

Interfering Jobsworth Watch: North East Lincolnshire Council

In her part of the world retired chef Diane Tovey is renowned for her cakes.

Slices of her delicious lemon drizzle, coffee and walnut, carrot and orange, date and walnut and pear, pistachio and dark chocolate offerings go down a treat.

On bank holidays over the last two years Mrs Tovey, 52, has raised nearly £1,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution by selling tea and cakes from her chalet home.

Now council bosses have put a halt to it all - claiming she is running a business and must stump up for a £5 million public liability insurance policy.
This is despite the fact that their food safety people have no problem with her food, and they are fully aware that she does this only for eight days a year, and has the receipts to prove she hands the money over to the RNLI (who are supporting her).
...the council insists it has no choice in the matter because as a landowner it could be found liable if any customer made a claim against the Toveys.

A spokesman said: 'If we consent to something and the tenant is not insured and a customer submits a claim against Mr Tovey, as the land is ours and we are party to the agreement we could be pulled into proceedings and potentially be liable as well.'
Given the state of the roads around here, plus the state of the pavements, perhaps Mrs Tovey should move. My council isn't too worried about being found liable for anything!


John M Ward said...

Tricky in respect of council rented housing if the law really does make them potentially liable in such circumstances.

I don't know the answer to this one, though it'll be interesting to know the historic record of such activities nationwide for the past several decades.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased that we don't hold any of our fundraising social events on council property...

Anonymous said...

"...if the law really does make them potentially liable in such circumstances."

That's the rub - even the spokesperson could only say they may 'potentially' be liable. And as she's passed their own foot certification inspection...

Anonymous said...

If the council really were liable then I suspect an additional premium (in respect of this risk) to the council's existing public liability insurance policy would be, what, £1 or, more likely, nothing. Alternatively, the council could just insist that Mrs Tovey puts up a notice to the effect that although the sale is being undertaken on council land THE COUNCIL HAS NO LIABILITY WHATSOEVER TO VISITORS COMING ON THE LAND TO BUY MRS TOVEY'S CAKES. It's easy if you want to be sensible. If you're a jobsworth parasite - as is anyone at NE Lincolnshire Council connected to this particular incident - then you'll do your utmost to make life difficult for normal people.

Anonymous said...

Nobody has the right to trade on the street without prior written consent from the council.

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Anonymous said...

"Nobody has the right to trade on the street without prior written consent from the council."

Oh, really? Care to quote the act that backs that up? Just so we can check.

And, that's a very nice 'drawing', there. Mean something to you...?

Anonymous said...

Oh, wait. I think I've figured it out (after all, on my large monitor screen, it's still only about an inch and a half).

Very nice, but you should stop playing with it. You'll go blind, and then how will you comment on blogs...? ;)