Profile image for FabExe

Hi - lets start a debate on this new topic.

I'm a trader in Exmouth who has a shop and sells coffee etc. to the general public. I struggle to get by in Winter and pay a large amount of my turnover to East Devon District Council as business rates.

Now imagine my thoughts when a 'tricycle' appears in town selling coffees etc. firstly near the train station and then wherever he likes. 'Good for him' I hear you say, but hold on - isn't street trading in Exmouth banned? It is. Although he 'says' he has applied for a 'Peddlars' licence from the Police (this dictates however that he should move from town to town to be regarded as a peddlar), in my eyes he is trading illegally.

My reasons for this are:

a) I pay more business rates in 1 week than he pays in 10 (yes 10) YEARS for his peddlars licence.

b) He is not moving from 'town to town' rather just around the Exmouth area.

c) We all have to abide by the regulations - NO STREET TRADING - else we'd all go and spend 5% of what it costs to buy a coffee shop and go and buy a 2 grand trike...

Being objective - It is a good idea yes, but it needs to be out of town where it does not unfairly compete with other traders trying to make a living. Cycle path to Exeter, Woodbury car parks or suchlike. Even Exmouth one day a week but certainly not 7 days a week. At the moment he can intercept the best trade wherever he likes and just swan off, leaving us traders standing at the door wondering why customers are just walking past...

We pay EDDC for the privilege to trade and also expect them to protect this privilege..


By FabExe at 10:14 on 07/04/11

  • Profile image for The Bespoke Café Co

    An interesting topic that should be debated.

    Thank you for being objective. I appreciate that times are tough out there, and businesses are not helped by the large sums that EDDC charge in business rates.

    Yes we all have to abide by regulations, which is why I have spent the last 3 months in discussion with the Town Council and EDDC trying to obtain some kind of concession or street traders licence which I am more than happy to pay for. As an Exmouth resident with a young family, the last thing I want is to step on peoples toes in an attempt to make a go of it here with a small family run business. Currently there are no opportunities in Exmouth for businesses like mine, which is why I have been forced to trade with a ‘peddlars’ licence which was issued to me by Inspector Jez Capey from Exmouth Police Station. Details of the act can be found here;

    and EDDC policy on street trading here;

    I have no intention of trading in Exmouth 7 days a week, and certainly no intention of pulling up next to any of the existing cafes on the front. I would love to be able to afford a small cafe, maybe one day I will. The trike, which is worth a lot more than 2 grand unfortunately, will be attending local events, markets, festivals, weddings, shows and possibly on the cycle path, Woodbury car parks and were ever will have me!

    I look forward to hearing other people’s views on the subject. Exmouth is a large seaside town, blessed with a very large seafront. EDDC should be encouraging more enterprise.

    By The Bespoke Café Co at 12:18 on 07/04/11

  • Profile image for Ian_Pedlar

    We have a discussion going on about this on our lovely forum:

    Please come along and have a look.

    The fact is that the Pedlars Act is an old but good law that entitles any UK citizen to trade 'anywhere within the uk'

    There are newer laws such as the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 but the pedlar is exempt from this law.

    I'd like to point out here that this old law is for everyone and anyone is entitled to purchase a pedlars certificate which would make it a great way for people with shops, coffee shops etc. to branch out into new areas of revenue and indeed even to new towns.

    The argument that another law abiding trader might be infringing on your profits is not really fair.

    Yes you pay rates but he can't trade in bad weather, he is just trying to make an honest living. He doesn't have a building to shelter him and he isn't plumbed into the electricity grid or the water mains, why should he pay rates?

    It is good to have an honest objective discussion of these matters to have more people understand the law.

    Briefly, it has always been the uk citizens right to trade but the Pedlars Act was introduced to try to get a handle on things, perhaps unscrupulous or dishonest traders etc. and now any uk citizen 'of good character' may purchase a pedlars certificate from the police for £12.25 which entitles them by law to trade in the streets or from house to house.

    The description of the pedlar is someone who travels and trades on foot so when you see a pedlar they mustn't have anything that they can't move about on their own and anything more ambitious than this would be something other than a pedlar but otherwise the pedlars act is very giving in nature.

    Strictly speaking the pedlars act is so giving that if you are only selling common items such as foodstuffs or books etc. then you don't actually even need a pedlars certificate! But nowadays you do to be exempt from that local government act that many towns opt into where they have consent streets, prohibited streets etc. all this the pedlar is exempt from.

    Here is a link to a topic outlining our current understanding of the law:

    We welcome any and all newcomers our aim is to spread knowledge and understanding of the law.

    Ian Pedlar

    By Ian_Pedlar at 16:22 on 16/04/12

  • Profile image for Ian_Pedlar

    Reading PDF document from the link above it states:

    East Devon District Council has under section 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous
    Provisions) Act 1982 adopted Schedule 4 of that Act with regard to Street Trading within the district.

    And Schedule 4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 states:
    (2)The following are not street trading for the purposes of this Schedule—

    (a)trading by a person acting as a pedlar under the authority of a pedlar's certificate granted under the M2Pedlars Act 1871;

    Here is the link:

    As I wrote here: Imagine that a business man or woman has an established coffee shop which they have put their heart and soul into then, one day they are walking through the high street and they see a Pedlar (in this case a male pedlar) with a tricycle with a built-in coffee shop and he's doing a roaring trade!

    Well I think if it were me my first thought might be, hey he's stealing all my trade!

    But can we analyse this a bit and maybe get a discussion going on it.

    For example, is he stealing all your trade?
    Are those people buying coffee from him the same people who normally buy coffee from you?

    If you look at the bigger picture then might he not be introducing new people to the idea of buying a cup of coffee in the high street? In which case when he's not there might some of these new people come into your shop to buy coffee instead?

    Might not the even-bigger picture be that your town gets a reputation for being the place to go if you want a decent cup of coffee?

    Maybe the wise man would not think 'Hey he's stealing all my trade!'

    Maybe the wise man would think 'Hey that's a good Idea, I'm going to do that!'

    Ian Pedlar

    By Ian_Pedlar at 20:00 on 16/04/12


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