Agenda item

Agenda item

Sustainable Street Trading (proposed by Councillor Miles, seconded by Councillor Muddiman)

Liberal Democrat Group member motion

Council notes:

Street trading[1] contributes to the vibrancy and vitality of Oxford and its local economy but there is scope to increase the sustainability of this activity, as well as at events on public land including parks2.  The Oxford City Council Street Trading Policy already contains some environmental measures including a condition on food traders that ‘packaging and utensils shall be made of recycled or part recycled material.’  However, the policy is in the process of being updated and this presents the Council with the opportunity to take a stronger and more comprehensive approach to manage the sustainability impacts of street trading. This is in recognition that street trading activities, as with any type of business or activity, may positively or negatively affect the wider environment, society or the economy.

In light of its commitment to address the Climate Emergency and ecological crisis, and during Plastic Free July, this Council acknowledges that there are actions it can take within its sphere of control and influence to promote more sustainable approaches to street trading. Examples might include, attaching conditions to licences, working in partnership with licence holders to improve the sustainability of their business practices, and involving them in wider city council initiatives such as the city’s work on safer streets in the night time economy.

Therefore, this Council:

  • Commits to seeking and integrating feedback including with traders on the Environment; Air quality; Littering; and Sustainable energy during the policy consultation process.
  • Commits to updating its standard street trading consent conditions so they include a:

o   Ban on single use plastic and polystyrene in street trading;

o   Ban on the sale of plastic and helium balloons;

o   Requirement and guidance on the use of sustainable food packaging, utensils, drinks containers and bags

  • Requests that the Head of Regulatory Services and Community Safety explores options to update standard street trading consent conditions so that they include a requirement to provide a litter bin for recycling.
  • Commits to encouraging and providing guidance to street traders:
    • To adopt sustainable sourcing of food and drink;
    • To use sustainable sources of energy for their trading activities;
    • To deal with customers’ rubbish responsibly; and
    • On the benefits of sustainable street trading.
  • Calls on the Cabinet Member for Health and Transport to work with stakeholders including at the County Council to consider the feasibility of increasing the provision of street based electric power points for street traders including in parks to phase out the use of diesel generators for energy generation by street traders.
  • Calls on Cabinet Member for Health and Transport to explore ways to encourage street traders to transition to electric vehicles during the initial grace period for the ZEZ with the aim to require street traders to use electric vehicles in the medium term.

 [1] ‘Street Trading’ is defined as the selling or exposing or offering for sale of any article (including a living thing) in a street – subject to a number of exceptions.

2 Currently, there are 37 annual street traders and 2 weekly trading pitches. To date in 2022, there have been 5 events with 45 traders.



Cllr Linda Smith, seconded by Cllr Hollingsworth, proposed a motion without notice under 11.19(d) of Oxford City Council’s Constitution to refer this matter to the General Purposes Licensing Committee to carry out its functions to review and recommend policies on licensing to Council (Constitution 5.7(b)).