Jimmy’s Kebab Van has (apparently) been granted a three month trading licence to be able to operate from a site in the George Lane car park. Or so we have been informed.
Marlborough.news reported last month’s Town Council Planning Committee meeting where Councillors stridently and unanimously objected to this application. The Police objected as well.
But, that cuts no ice with Wiltshire Council and the enforcement officer, responsible for the issuing of such licences is unwilling to answer any questions posed by Marlborough.news as to why.
This last arose a couple of years back, the Town Council and Police objected but Wiltshire Council ignored the wishes of those affected and issued a licence anyway. Ironically, the van was rarely seen there and residents estimated that it was there on maybe a couple of occasions at most over the period (several months) of the licence.
It’s not possible to find out what licences have been granted or rejected via the Wiltshire Council website. It’s as if they don’t want residents – their real customers for whom they should be acting – to know what decisions are being made behind their backs. So much for local democracy and openness.
The only time that marlborough.news can find when any member of the Town Council supported any such application was three years ago, when a Kebab Van application was submitted for a site at the Leisure Centre Car Park.
It was then-Town Councillor Harry Forbes who stated “….If the people of Marlborough wish to be obese, that’s their own individual choice and I propose no objection to this application”.
Interestingly, the Public Health team within Wiltshire Council appear to support healthy eating whilst decisions regarding street trading applications for Kebab Vans would appear to conflict with such a position.
But either way, such lack of clarity and openness flies in the face of transparency of local council operation.
Since the original story (above) was published we have received the following statement from Wiltshire Council:
Sam Fox, Wiltshire Council Corporate Director for Place and Environment said, “Following consultation with local representatives, including Wiltshire Police who did not raise any objections to the application, we have granted the applicant a licence for a three month period.
The objections raised by Marlborough Town Council were not grounds for refusing the application and were based on events that may happen. In view of the objections raised we have granted the applicant a licence for a trial period of three months to assess if the objections raised were valid.
“We will be monitoring the situation during the trial period and assure residents that if problems arise during this time we will address them and any such issues would be reviewed at the end of this period to evaluate the impact of the temporary licence.
“We would also like to assure residents that the trader is licensed and is food registered and will be shortly subject to a food inspection visit from our food safety team.”