OWNERS of a hot food trailer in Sheffield city centre have accused council chiefs of “picking on” them after officers opposed their bid to renew a street trading licence, claiming the vehicle spoils the streetscene.
The controversy over the Just Eat stand on Fargate comes two years after internal council emails were accidentally made public. One officer branded the trailer a “shed” in an email.
In an objection to the application for a further 12-month street trading licence, to be heard by Sheffield Council’s licensing board on Tuesday, Phil Abbott, head of planning, said: “It creates a poor image of the city centre, blocks views down the shopping street, creates a cluttered impression and does not sit comfortably within this conservation area, in close proximity to the Grade One listed Town Hall.
“This catering trailer is not of a high enough quality to remain.”
He said only small, hand-pulled trailers are appropriate for the street.
Further objections have been made by Kevan Butt, parking services manager, who claims 30 parking fines totalling £2,030 are owed for a vehicle owned by Just Eat’s proprietor.
The owners say the person who owes the fines is no longer part of the business.
And officers have voiced concerns about the wrong type of food being served - the trailer has permission to serve Indian cuisine but has also started serving items such as jacket potatoes.
They are also objecting to brightly-coloured adverts on the trailer and say it has been left on the street overnight when it is meant to be removed.
But one of the partners in the Just Eat business, who did not wish to be named, said: “They are just picking on us. It’s just like what happened a couple of years ago with the emails.
“We are providing a service and if people didn’t want us here, we wouldn’t make any money. We could get 1,000 people to sign a petition supporting us but the council has not given us enough time to get one together. People come from as far as Rotherham and Chesterfield to enjoy our food.
“They can hardly complain about our trailer’s appearance when they allowed the big wheel to stand here for so long and put up the Santa’s Grotto at Christmas.”