Fine Gael Senator Emer Currie has urged councils around the country to update their byelaws to maximise outdoor trading this summer.
Senator Currie said: “Casual trading is the selling of goods in public spaces permitted by licenses obtained through local authorities, like food produce on Coppinger Row, flowers on Grafton Street, sweets on Moore Street and night-time food vans.
“The Casual Trading Act of 1995 allows local authorities to define their own casual trading plans through council-led byelaws, including location, provisions and fees, but many of those byelaws aren’t “outdoor summer ready”.
“I would urge Councils everywhere to check out their current byelaws to see if they are maximising opportunities to support outdoor trading during the summer.
“The Minister for Local Government should issue guidance to local authorities based on a review of current byelaws, sharing ideas and best practice in relation to locations, fees and critically, waste management, because litter has been a consistent problem throughout Covid-19.
“More consistency across local authorities will help everyone raise their game.”
Senator Currie continued: “Dublin City has an extensive list and map of locations where you can casually trade, but the city byelaws are from 2013 so there could be other areas that could be included as part of our plans for an outdoor summer.
“Fingal County Council is currently updating its byelaws from 1995 because the only locations you can currently casually trade in Fingal are at beaches and outside graveyards.
“In South Dublin County Council there are seventeen sites for seventeen vendors, including flowers outside graveyards, ice-cream or tea/coffee at parks and food in three locations including an industrial estate, a viewing point and a ring road.
“In Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, licences seem to be applied for on a case by case basis.
“I want businesses who are hungry for footfall, and consumers who are eager to have new experiences this summer, to be able to avail of every sensible opportunity.
“Local councillors, with the support of guidelines from the Minister, are best placed to deliver that for their communities.”