Substantial hike in fees for cafes with outside seating

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Cafes applying for licences to have outside seating are to face increases in charges this year.

All initial applications will now cost £350. Previously this cost £190 or £240, depending on how far in advance the application was made.

Licence renewals, which used to cost £110 if made before the deadline will now cost £300. A further review is to be carried out before the next financial year.

Despite the substantial increases, Council Leader David Christian said this still did not cover the full costs associated with issuing the licences.

‘It is still a service subsidised by the rate payer,’ he said.

‘There will be complaints over this small increase but you only have to look at the number of people taking advantage of this. It must double the revenue for some of these places.

‘The increase brings income closer to the costs involved and there is definitely something added to the quay area for example, giving a far better feel to the town.’

The Highways Act allows fees to be charged to cover the cost of issuing the licence such as extra street cleaning.

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