STREET traders are furious at council plans to ban them from the town centre.

At a meeting of Swindon Council’s licensing committee councillors agreed to prohibit street trading on several streets.

According to some traders the moves are “double standards” because promoters are still allowed to use the same streets. But Swindon Council’s head of licensing said changes in Government legislation have forced them to act.

From March 2010 street trading will be prohibited on parts of Regent Street, The Parade, Bridge Street, Edgeware Road and Canal Walk Barbara Mazzotta, who runs an ice cream stall on Regent Street with her husband Biage, said she was appalled at the council’s actions.

Mrs Mazzotta, whose permission to trade on the site she has occupied for the last six years runs out on Saturday, said: “They are putting me out of business. There is no need for it. All I’m doing is bringing a little bit of pleasure into people’s lives – everyone likes an ice cream.

“This is double standards – they want to get rid of all the traders but they will still let the promoters come into the town centre.

“If it is prohibited for us it should be prohibited for everyone.”

John Lambe, who runs the flower stall next to Mrs Mazzotta said: “We are hard working people just trying to make a living.

“We pay our taxes and we deserve better than this. We have no idea what’s happening next and we haven’t been offered any help.”

But Lionel Starling, head of licensing at Swindon Council, said his hands were tied. He said that legislation due to be introduced in December had forced changes in the way councils deal with licence applications for street traders.

The new rules combined with the council’s plans to “declutter” the town centre led to the decision, he said. Promoters who operate in the area are not classed as street traders so the council has no powers to ban them.

He said: “We are looking at different areas around the edges of the town centre where perhaps traders could operate. We have to look carefully at what arrangements are best suited to each trader.”

A spokeswoman for Ignis Asset Management, which manages The Parade for owners UKCPT, welcomed the committee’s decision.

She said: “UKCPT’s redevelopment of BHS, which will provide a new anchor store and six modern retail units, will commence shortly.

“We feel that, as a prohibited street, The Parade will now be in a far stronger position to make this substantial new investment work for shoppers, retailers and town centre visitors, and we thank the licensing committee for this sensible outcome.”