Published: 17:31, 03 July 2020
| Updated: 17:33, 03 July 2020
A trader has been wrapped on the knuckles for trying to open his Jacksonwood vintage tea room in Sheerness High Street too early.
Stephen Jackson opened his doors on Saturday as an experiment to try out his new socially-distanced tables, separated by partitions, and installed two tables on the pavement outside.
But a passer-by reported him to Swale council which told him to stop.
A council spokesman said the decision was not taken lightly and was balanced with keeping people safe.
He added: “We have now received legislation covering changes to pavement licences and we’ll be contacting premises with information.”
Mr Jackson was initially told putting tables on the pavement, despite the road being closed to traffic, was a breach of current requirements to control the spread of coronavirus and that he "must stop immediately."
But he was also told the position may change on July 4.
Phil Crowder who chairs the Sheerness Town Team said: “This seems like madness. First Swale council pedestrianises the high street and then stops cafes from putting tables and chairs on the pavement.”
Cllr Lee McCall, who is on Sheerness Town Council and Swale council, said: “Businesses who own cafes and restaurants can apply to Swale council for a licence to allow them to put tables and chairs outside their business while the high street is closed.
"The council has reduced the time from 30 days to just five days to get licences approved to help businesses and attract people back into the high street.”
More by this authorJohn Nurden
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