At a meeting of the full council on 14 July, councillors agreed to set a zero fee for the new Pavement Licence that is being introduced to support businesses as the Covid-19 lockdown measures are relaxed.
Councillors considered whether there should be a £100 fee for the licence; the maximum fee permitted for this, but unanimously agreed that no fee should be charged in order to support the recovery after the closure for businesses during the pandemic.
The new licence will authorise public houses, restaurants, cafes or other drinking establishments to put removable furniture on part of the public highway to sell or serve food or drink from their premises or for customers to consume food or drink from the licence holder’s premises.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Martin Griffiths, presented the report and proposed that the council not apply a charge, saying “the business and planning bill is a positive step in supporting the hospitality trade in reopening.
“Expanding the floor space available to them will help to make it more economically viable for businesses to open while complying with the required social distancing measures to ensure public safety.
“I would like to propose a nil fee to show that we are doing all we can to help local businesses in these extremely difficult and challenging times and to support the sector back in to trading as swiftly as possible and within the guidelines.
“This also complements the decision of offering free market space in the town centre for the next three months.
“The Borough Council of Wellingborough continues to do the right things to support town centre businesses; the ongoing works to improve heritage buildings, the recently started public realm improvements in the Tithe Barn area, the rebuild of the Tresham College and the impressive improvements to the multi storey car park show that Wellingborough is very much open for business.