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Make it easier for cafes and pubs to have seats, tables & drinks outside.

Comment 20th July 2010

Pubs and cafes have to apply for licences to put seats and tables outside, and then they are restricted on numbers, allowed hours, and positioning.  My idea is to loosen up the regulations on licencing of pavement usage outside of cafes and pubs.

Presumably there are already laws to prevent businesses from being a nuisance or an obstruction, so why do we need local authority departments presiding over yet more regulation, inspections & paperwork?

Why does this matter?

My idea is important because it is part of the journey away from the petty bureaucracy which invades British lives, and makes everything just a bit harder and less enjoyable. 

Is is annoying to have to stand on the left hand side of the "no drinks past this point" sign, or to not be able to bring out a chair from inside the cafe because they are "over their limit".  It may not seem like a big deal, but these are symptoms of a greater "cannot be done" attitude, which eventually encourages people not to bother trying to set-up pavement cafes and beer gardens.

As such we all lose out – and what for?  To fill a check-box in a council office somewhere?  Or to protect the ever-so vunerable "obstructed pedestrian" who would, anyway, probably rather have a nice local cafe than a perfectly clear pavement!

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