Potato man blasts ‘ridiculous’ rules

MDL100123B6 - Ilkeston Market Place
MDL100123B6 - Ilkeston Market Place

A potato van man, who has been banned from trading on Ilkeston Market Place at the same time as another food van has blasted the council’s ‘ridiculous’ rules.

At first, Erewash Borough Council had stopped Vince Gilbert from trading on either Ilkeston or Long Eaton market places at all because of ‘guidelines’ which can prevent more than one trader selling the same product in the same place.

But after a call from the ‘Tiser, the council agreed to let him, his wife and daughter sell their spuds at Ilkeston on the four non-market days, when a burger van – which also sells baked potatoes in front of the town hall – is not trading.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “We know it will do well and it will employ three people.”

Vince, used to sell spuds from his proper potato oven in Beeston where he did a roaring trade.

“It’s so frustrating considering how bad Ilkeston has got,” he explained.

“We have lived in Trowell all our lives and always used Ilkeston as our main shopping centre – we’ve spoken to half a dozen shoppers in town who all think it’s a great idea.”

This week, Steve Birkinshaw, head of planning at Erewash pointed to council guidance which states that ‘the council may restrict numbers of any particular type of trading line at its absolute discretion’.

“In line with this guidance, the markets officer informed Mr Gilbert that we did not currently have a vacancy on either Ilkeston or Long Eaton markets,” he said.

“But given the current situation he would be able to place his stall in Ilkeston on non-market days.

“The markets officer has again contacted Mr Gilbert confirming that he would be permitted to stand on Ilkeston market on non-market days.

“Mr Gilbert has agreed to this and is contacting the council in April to arrange this.”