A STREET trader has been given a new pitch in the town centre after winning an appeal against eviction.
Biagio Mazzotta, who has run the donut stall in Havelock Square for the past 12 years, was told by Swindon Council’s Licensing Sub Committee at the Civic Offices last night that he will be allowed to continue trading in the town centre – although his menu will have to be restricted.
The committee agreed that the stall can continue to trade in the Parade, near the flower stand, but must limit the hot food and drink on offer to donuts, tea, coffee and cold drinks. Previously the van also sold hotdogs, hamburgers and bacon rolls.
During the hearing, a procedure created a few weeks ago to give street traders a fair chance to voice their opinions in front of a panel, Councillor Bob Wright (Labour, Central), acting for the Mazzottas said street trading was part of Swindon’s history.
He said: “It is a tradition going back all through our history. This is the current generation of street traders. The Mazzottas want to work with the council and are willing to do donuts all year.”
Councillor Eric Shaw, chair of the sub-committee, said: “Mr Mazzotta, you may start trading at the beginning of February at the new location but there will be conditions for the food to be limited to only donuts and hot and cold drinks.”
The decision comes as a relief to Mr Mazzotta who had said previously that he was willing to go to jail rather than lose his spot.
The council told him that he had to give up his pitch by February 1, when all street trading in Havelock Square will cease. He said: “We are very happy with the outcome that was our first choice.
“The donuts are our big seller so we are fine with just doing them.
“We were also happy with the process. We were listened to. We always wanted to work with the council.”
He added that he and his wife Barbara had already received 3,000 names since Christmas on a petition to keep the donut stall in the town centre.
The Mazzottas will now have this pitch for at least a year when their license will once again be reviewed by the council.
Other street traders are also expected to go to appeal after they too have been hit by the council’s new guidelines banning fast food stalls in Havelock Square.