Weston-Super-Mare has always relied heavily on tourism with the area boasting a range of tourist activities. There is a rather vibrant cafe culture in the area, however new plans issued by the council may damage this. The proposed changes include, all food eaten outside is served by waiters, all outdoor furniture such as aluminium tables and outdoor chairs must be removed from Regent Street and food or drink cannot be served to anyone sitting down.
Businesses in the area currently holding street cafe licences were outraged by the proposals with one of the owners calling the new rules completely ?gibberish".
Cafe/bistro owners are worried that if they do not stick to these rules, they could have their licences revoked by North Somerset Council, whereas others, who own businesses on the Regent Street are more concerned with the business that they will lose particularly in the peak summer months.
A meeting held by the council's licencing department, saw the discussion of the new rules, speaking at the meeting was Grand Pier and Waterfront Fish Bar owner Kerry Michael. He stood up for the cafe and business owners in the area saying that the new rules made no sense.
He added: ?These plans are gibberish. That is possibly the widest thoroughfare in Weston, so if we cannot have tables and chairs there, how can they be allowed elsewhere? ?We want to be able to sell what we want to our customers, when they want and we don't want the local authority telling us what we can and can't do.? It seems it was not only Mr Michael that was concerned over the new plans, Andreas Macrides, co-owner of La Costa bar and restaurant said that if the outdoor cafe furniture was taken away, there will not be enough space for people along Regent Street and more litter will accumulate as a consequence. Following the meeting that was held on 8/11/11, officers will be having a consultation that ends on the 25th of November where they may amend the proposal, however as it stands at the moment the changes will be implemented at the beginning of next year.