STREET traders in Havelock Square say they have the public on their side in the fight to stop Swindon Council evicting them.

Maria and Angelo Carchedi have run the hot dog stall in Havelock Square for the last nine years but have been told that, from February 1, they can no longer trade on the site.

On Monday the Adver reported how Biagio Mazzotta, who runs the neighbouring doughnut stall, has vowed to face prison rather than lose his spot.

The move comes after Swindon Council restructured its policy on street trading.

The new guidelines mean that no street trading will be allowed in Havelock Square and that fast food stalls will find it hard to obtain a licence.

Mrs Carchedi, 53, said: “We have tried to work with the council on this. We have said that we don’t mind moving if we can find another place to go but what are we supposed to do, if they won’t give us anywhere else?

“There are no other jobs out there – there is a recession going on, but the council think this is the time to take away our livelihood.”

The Carchedis carried out a survey of 117 customers last year in which more than 98 per cent said they were angry at the decision to move them on and thought they were a valuable addition to the square.

Mrs Carchedi said: “We have said that if the problem is the smell then we will agree just to cook brockwurst, which is a product that isn’t sold anywhere else in Swindon.

“Our customers want us to stay and I don’t see what harm we are doing. We started a petition on Saturday and we already have more than 600 signatures.”

Lionel Starling, the head of licensing at Swindon Council, said no application for a new site had been received from Mrs Carchedi, but applications would be considered on an individual basis.

The policy adopted by Swindon Council, reads: “Hot food trailers and vans tend to function as portable shop units, operating in isolation. Where it appears that they are being used (or will be used) principally to save on costs relative to competing cafes and take-aways, a street trading consent will not normally be granted.

“Where the infrastructure or trading opportunities are such that a fixed retail unit could not be justified or accommodated, a fast food trailer will be considered for consent.

“Aside from their exclusion from the town centre, there is a presumption against the siting of fast food trailers in residential areas, in the locality of fixed premises with a fast food offer, close to schools or where it would impact adversely on the amenity of the area or otherwise conflict with this policy.”