Deputy to apply to make his al fresco area legal

DEPUTY ANDREW TAYLOR is heading to court – finally to reapply for an al fresco licence for his cafe in Market Street after 17 months of trading without one.

The deputy effectively shopped himself in the States when he admitted that he did not have an al fresco licence for Taylors, even though he keeps a handful of tables and chairs outside.

He continued to freely admit over the past week or so what he called ‘an oversight’, and split the community between those who were annoyed that he was flouting the law, and those who thought he was on a crusade against overly-bureaucratic red tape.

Deputy Taylor, a member of Home Affairs, said yesterday that he was putting a licence application together and had been given a provisional court date in July.

‘It was my own slip up,’ he said.

Mr Taylor had twice previously been granted an al fresco licence and held it until the end of 2020, when he failed to renew.

But one fellow cafe owner has said he would have supported Deputy Taylor if he was battling the red tape and cost of al fresco licence applications.

Vijay Wiltshire, owner of the Roll Bar on the Bridge, spent £5,000 to secure permission to put three tables outside his business earlier this year. He said Deputy Taylor could have set a precedent for others to reject the licence requirements.

But Deputy Taylor said he was not campaigning against al fresco licences or calling for more change. The States only last month backed a new scheme which would make it easier and cheaper for many businesses to get a licence.

‘Speaking practically, I don’t think anything will come to the States,’ he said.

Mr Wiltshire was the first operator to go al fresco on the Bridge.

‘I fully support him – it’s a massive waste of time and money, so good for Andy,’ he said.

Deputy Andrew Taylor. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30818364)

‘There is way too much red tape and bureaucracy. And why we need to pay a fee every year I don’t know. I have no idea why you wouldn’t want to set a precedent for al fresco. Maybe I should have been brave enough to do it myself.’

But aside from the cost and bureaucracy, Mr Wiltshire said he was pleased to have decided to take his business to the pavement.

‘It’s been going fantastically, we have disabled people using it, and people can have a cigarette and a coffee outside. I thought it would really enhance the area.’

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