A baked potato stallholder in Congleton who was told to return to his pre-pandemic pitch appears to have won his fight to remain at his preferred location – for the time being.
Michael Brown, who runs Victoria’s Baked Potatoes, was ordered to move back onto Victoria Street once his temporary licence to trade at a pitch on Bridge Street expired. He had been allowed to relocate to the main pedestrian area to help with social distancing during the pandemic.
As reported by the Chronicle in November, after Cheshire East Council, the licensing authority, had asked Mr Brown to move from Bridge Street, he launched a petition in a fight to remain at his new pitch. The petition attracted more than 900 signatures and now totals 1,075.
He moved his stall back to Victoria Street in November for two weeks but was then asked to trade from Bridge Street once again as covid infections began to rise.
Mr Brown, who was trading from his stall on Bridge Street on Tuesday, said: “It’s much better for me on the high street, and there’s more than 1,000 people who think that the town looks better with me there. I can’t do anything more.
”Yes, I’ve got licensing to stay here until February but it’s not over. There will be another review next month and a decision will be made.”
Mr Brown added: “I asked Cheshire East Council’s licensing department if it had a problem with me staying and I was told it has no problem at all.”
However, even though Mr Brown continued to trade on Bridge Street this week a Cheshire East Council spokesperson said: “The stallholder has moved back to his original, authorised location. It is understood he is to consider if it is appropriate to apply for a permanent change to the other location when his current consent comes to an end.
“The application, if made, will follow our normal decision-making process.”