Businesses to be consulted on ‘record number’ of concessions

Monday, 21 March 2022 18:05

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

Local councillors have asked for businesses in Adur and Worthing to be consulted after ‘record numbers’ of concessions appeared in parks and on the beaches last year.

Adur and Worthing Councils saw a ‘spike’ in the number of applications for concessions licences following the first lockdown in 2020 with a ‘record number’ trading last summer.

Stalls from the likes of the Shellfish Shack and Worthing Gin traded on the promenade along with two wood-fired saunas. Altogether they brought in more than £58,000 in licence fees for the councils but some councillors expressed concerns over the effect on businesses with fixed store fronts.
Businesses to be consulted During a joint overview and scrutiny committee meeting on Thursday (March 17), councillors asked for businesses to be consulted.

Councillor Joss Loader (Ind, Marine), who represents Shoreham Beach Residents’ Association, asked: “What work has been done to assess the financial impact of concessions on existing local businesses who operate from fixed premises all year round?”

Officers said no consultation had taken place to date as there had been ‘no formal complaints’.

They added that concessions are placed in areas that would avoid competition between them and businesses with fixed premises and that several established businesses like Manuka Bar and Enzo’s Italian Restaurant also had concessions.

But Debs Stainforth (Lab, Southlands) requested a consultation with businesses in the town and this was backed during the meeting.

Maximum has been reached

Sally Smith (Lab, Central) said there is a ‘finite amount of space’ along Worthing’s promenade which is ‘shared by cyclists and pedestrians’.
She wanted to know if there was a limit on the number of concessions.

Officers said there were ‘no plans’ to increase the number of pitches as there are already 36 seafront pitches and five park pitches in Worthing and 12 across the Adur district.

Priority given to sustainable enterprises.

Questions were also asked over the concessions’ sustainability credentials by Rosey Whorlow (Lab, Central). “When does the council plan to mandate rather than encourage sustainability features, such as solar power?” she asked. “At events in Steyne Gardens last summer diesel generators were widely used.”

The councils have said they will give priority to businesses who can demonstrate sustainable features like reduced food waste, and new recycling points have also been installed along Worthing’s promenade. Concessions have grown.

The councils have allowed seasonal concessions since 2008 when just two businesses were up and running in Worthing.

There are now 53 pitches available, including those in parks and at riverside locations.

It is part of a plan to ‘activate’ the seafront as the pandemic has also seen a growing number of concessions.

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