Derry City Council has taken action to ensure there won’t be a repeat of a scenario which happened last summer when two local ice cream men clashed over who had a right to operate at Derry’s Peace Bridge.
At a meeting of council’s Environmental Services (Licensing) committee on Thursday the Town Clerk’s report - responding to a separate application for an ice cream van - said it would be recommending that vendors provide exact details of where they intend to trade.
Referring to the application which was made by a seller who was not involved in last year’s controversy the report stated: “One concern is that the applicant has applied for a mobile licence for his ice cream van authorising him to trade in ‘L’Derry areas and Co. L’Derry areas’, effectively anywhere in the Council area. While this was not a problem in previous years, last summer, members may recall, there were a number of disputes between ice cream vendors in the vicinity of the Peace Bridge, on both the Cityside and the Waterside.
“While the applicant was not involved in any of these disputes, to the best of my knowledge, I would suggest that in the interest of consistency, he, along with all other ice cream vendors, be asked to provide a schedule of locations and times when he wants to trade and that this form part of his licence conditions.”
Last year, ice cream van owner Michael Byrne called in the police when a rival vendor traded in what Mr. Byrne had considered a designated zone.
The local salesman criticised Derry City Council at the time saying he had been unable to contact them and shortly after the incident said that the situation had left him at his wits end.