Popular Sheffield ice cream man scoops ‘one off’ change in licensing policy

A popular ice cream man has become the first to legally defy Sheffield City Council's licensing policy.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 3:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 3:58 pm
Ice cream sold from a van
Ice cream sold from a van

Paul Grayson, who drives an ice cream van in the city, successfully applied to start serving earlier after the school he parks outside changed the time lessons finish.

Now he is able to start selling to pupils as soon as the bell goes at Birley Community Primary School on Thornbridge Avenue.

He said: “The queues are usually about a mile long. I’ve been 29 years in this job and I’ve never had a complaint or problem. It means I no longer have to ask them to wait until 3pm for ice cream.”

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The council’s licensing committee are normally under strict rules to not allow ice cream vendors to serve before three o'clock.

But, given that the matter only involved a change of 15 minutes, Mr Grayson was treated as a ‘one-off’ exception to the rule.

Following this, the committee are now looking at changing their policy to make it more flexible.

Coun David Barker, chair of the committee, confirmed they are granting him the licence and said: “Because there is the potential for schools to change their opening times I do think it’s something we need to look in the policy.”

There were concerns raised by one resident about Mr Grayson serving unhealthy treats, parking obstructively and being verbally abusive towards parents - but these had all been investigated by the council and found to be untrue.

His representative, Coun Neale Gibson, said: “My client has been running the operation for a number of years now and has been the subject of ongoing harassment by one individual who accused him on a number of occasions, none of which stood up.

“It’s just one person who seems to have it against him but he’s a very popular local figure, and the kids want to have the ice cream and there’s been no objections from parents.”

Jayne Gough, of the council’s licensing enforcement team, added: “We have followed up on every complaint, because there have been so many from this one resident, and investigated every single one and not found any breaches at all.”