Milk and bread rule could finish Harold

Harold Mortimer who is facing closing his mobile van business as the council say he can't sell bread and milk
Harold Mortimer who is facing closing his mobile van business as the council say he can't sell bread and milk
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A mobile shop trader fears he will be forced into retirement - as a new council rule stops him selling milk or bread.

Harold Mortimer has served up daily essentials and confectionery in his deliveries to residents around the Manor and Wybourn areas for 30 years.

But amendments to Sheffield Council’s street trading policy now mean mobile shops cannot sell anything except fruit and vegetables - although static traders can.

Harold, aged 70, will urge the council’s licensing committee to consider his business, Mortimers Bread and Confectionery, as an ‘exception’ to the rule when he attends a meeting tomorrow.

He told The Star: “Without a licence I can’t sell my business – it is worthless.

“I’d have to pack up if I can’t get an exception, and I don’t want to do that.

“I just can’t see any reasoning behind this.

“I don’t sell cigarettes or beer and I’ve always abided by the rules.

“Home helps aren’t allowed to do shopping for elderly people any more so there are a few customers that I do personal shopping for as well.

“Bread and milk are the mainstay of my business, and people can’t survive on just fruit and vegetables alone.

“I want to retire when I want to - not when Sheffield Council wants me to.”

The amendments, which were agreed by the council in March, split mobile traders into two categories - those selling ice cream, and those selling fruit and vegetables only.

They also ruled mobile traders could not remain static for more than 20 minutes, or return to the same site in the same week.

Harold, who lives in Mosborough, said in his letter to councillors: “I have seen young people in the area grow up, and developed strong relationships with local people, providing for many an opportunity to chat and have some friendly human contact which they would not otherwise receive.

“I have a set route, spending less than 15 minutes at each stop, and am not putting any local business under undue pressure or unfair competition.”

A council spokesman said the licensing rules had changed earlier this year, but before The Star went to press could not confirm why the amendments had been made.