An aspiring flower seller has called for a change of rules on Eastbourne’s street traders after he was denied a trading licence.
Former trader John Rossetti hoped to set up a flower stall in Terminus Road after moving to Eastbourne from London in 2010.
Mr Rossetti applied to Eastbourne Borough Council’s street trading team for a licence to sell flowers on the road but was told no traders were allowed on the street except for those with ‘grandfather rights’.
Stalls with grandfather rights are currently exempt from Eastbourne’s street trading rules as they were in business before the rules came into force.
The special rights are designed as a practical compromise when bringing in new rules as well as a way to preserve traditional businesses.
But Mr Rossetti says these rights are unfair, undemocratic and create a monopoly.
Mr Rossetti said, “In my opinion they should be scrapped. It’s not a fair way of doing things.
“You’ve chip shops and barbers right next to each other, you’ve got Sainsbury’s and Tesco right next to one another but you can’t have a flower shop next to flower shop. We’re living in a democracy yet one person can have all the trade.”
Mr Rossetti has been trying to get the council to re-think the rules for more than four years.
He has repeatedly contacted the council and even approached former MP Stephen Lloyd for support in getting the rules changed.
Mr Rossetti said, “Why should he be able to do it and not me. He isn’t special, just a person like me. I would love to have worked there with my son and show him the joys of working. But I can’t do that because of the way things are.”
The council is now holding a consultation on if it should change the way street trading is organised.
A spokesman said, “The way we regulate street trading in Eastbourne is currently the subject of a public consultation which runs until September 24. This includes any granting of grandfather rights to traders.”
To take part in the consultation click here
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