Report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Markets and Consumer
Protection on the review of the pilot and future Bridge House Estates funding for enforcement activity against illegal street trading on and by the bridges.
The Committee’s attention was drawn to the success of the two-year pilot project, which had resulted in the near elimination of illegal street trading on the bridges. This had been possible due to several factors, including a funding package from the Bridge House Estates, which had enabled resources to be allocated to deal with the illegal street trading all year round.
The Committee was informed that it had played a significant role in the enhanced enforcement powers, which it had facilitated by the endorsement of section 101 agreement; this had allowed the Department to work across the boroughs boundaries with its counterparts in Tower Hamlets and Southwark. Additionally, agencies such as the National Food Crime Agency, Border Forces, and the City of London bridge control room played a vital role in curbing illegal street trading.
A Member noted that the report was discussed in the Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee and was pleased to see that the funding had been extended. He advised the Committee that should help the City of London let its guards down, the traders will be back again. The Member welcomed the report.
The Deputy Chairman agreed with the Members comment and thanked Officers for the overall success of the work carried out so far.
This was followed by another Member who also welcomed the report and asked if the lack of presence of the illegal traders were due to the lockdown and the reduced number of visitors to the bridges. The Assistant Director of Public Protection responded that there were no traders on the bridges; however, in early July, the Department observed that a number of the illegal traders had returned.
Another Member commented that they were delighted to see that many pickpockets were being disrupted, which is a massive success in itself to be able to achieve, as this is a big issue within the City of London with people becoming victims to such criminal activities.
Another Member asked if the Department is working with other boroughs as there will be a displacement of the illegal street trading to other areas. The Assistant Director, Public Protection, responded that the Department regularly holds meetings with its counterparts from other boroughs and carries out joint operations to tackle the illegal street trading.
RESOLVED – Members approved:
(a) to extend and maintain additional enforcement capability by the City
Corporation as local authority to be directed against illegal street trading on
and by the bridges and the public highways which cross them and to
authorise the Comptroller and City Solicitor to complete any necessary
agreement with Southwark in respect of enforcement by the City Corporation
within Southwark’s boundary; and
(b) should it be considered to be in the best interests of Bridge House Estates
and its beneficiaries, to those additional costs being met by the charity with a
view to preserving and safeguarding the bridges (and those who use them)
consistent with the City Corporation’s duties and powers as charity trustee to
expend the charity’s funds on maintaining and supporting the bridges,
including to meet reasonable and proportionate costs of policing them.