By Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter
An Oxford Street trader can keep selling sausages – at least for now – after Westminster City Council tried to stop him selling hot food.
Paul Stein was told to stop selling sausages after the authority wrongly gave him a licence to do so.
Paul was given a licence to sell hot meats at his stall – The Gourmet Grill, opposite Selfridges – in August 2020.
But the council made a U-turn a few months later, telling him an officer had given him the go-ahead by mistake.
Selling hot meat is actually blocked on the famous shopping street.
The then Tory-led council introduced a new licensing rule in 2007 banning street traders in and around Oxford Street from selling hot meats amid fears the smell would waft into shops.
After Paul complained to the authority, the council has agreed to review its policy and let him trade in the meantime.
He said: “I don’t have any smells, there’s no litter. It’s permanently spotless.”
Wally Watson, chairman of the West End Street Trading Association, representing Paul, said the licensing rule was “out of date” and traders on Oxford Street have suffered over the last few years from a dip in footfall during the pandemic.
The council’s licensing committee agreed to review the licensing rule and gave Paul permission to keep selling sausages at a meeting yesterday.
Cllr Aicha Less, cabinet member for communities and public protection, said: “Stopping Mr Stein from selling sausages would destroy his business and it is unfair to punish him for the council’s error.
“There are good reasons for the council to prevent the display of raw meat in and around Oxford Street in the interest of public safety.
“However, as Mr Stein does not display raw meat and has received no public complaints, it was agreed that his licence would not be revoked.
“The committee has agreed to look again at the rules of providing food around Oxford Street and will take a decision in due course.”
Pictured top: Gourmet Grill (Picture: Hannah Neary)