Unlicensed ‘front garden’ traders selling booze to Parklife festival-goers were closed down

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Unlicensed ‘front garden’ traders selling beer, cider and bottles of water to those attending the Parklife festival were closed down by enforcement officers, councillors have heard.

Bury Council have revealed details of a licensing enforcement operation undertaken over three days last month when a huge home town show by New Order took place at Heaton Park on Friday, September 10 followed by Parklife on the Saturday and Sunday.

Around 80,000 people per day attended the festival, to see performances over eight stages by acts such as Dave, Skepta and Burna Boy.

Some enterprising neighbours applied for street vending licences to sell refreshments from their front gardens and driveways to the multitudes of revellers arriving at the park.

However, others, primarily in the Scholes Lane and Sheepfoot Lane areas of Prestwich, who set up impromptu stalls without a licence, were ordered to close by enforcement officers.

The council had issued warning to residents close to the park prior to the weekend shows that selling from the front of their homes without a licence would not be allowed.

A report to Bury Council’s licensing and safety committee, who met this week, said: “Members will be aware that the annual Parklife festival at Heaton Park took place on Saturday 11 and 12th with New Order on the Friday 10.

“Officers worked throughout all the events over the three days and were joined by the Covid marshals.

“People trading from their driveways were closed down due to lack of street trading consent despite prior warnings being given.”

Becky Hill performing on the Parklife stage on Sunday at Parklife

The team also found other issues including a ‘large number’ of taxis from outside of Bury being moved on as they were not licensed to operate in the borough.

The report added: “Various street traders, including two ice cream vans, were moved on for not having a valid street trading consent for Bury.

“Visits to licensed premises including off licences were undertaken

“Pedlars who did not hold a valid pedlar’s certificate issued by the police were moved on.

“Officers are currently reviewing their findings to inform any future events that take place at Heaton Park.”

Coun Alan Quinn, who represents the Sedgley ward which borders Heaton Park, said: “I was aware of this issue in 2019 when people were trading from their home on Sheepfoot Lane but it turned out they had legitimately applied for a trading licence from the council.

“Obviously if that is the case there is no problem but to do this a licence must be granted.”