Sunday, 21 July 2019

Riverside ice cream pitch to be advertised by council

Riverside ice cream pitch to be advertised by council

BUSINESSES are to be invited to pitch for a licence to sell ice cream next to the river in Henley.

Henley Town Council is to seek applications after a vendor stopped trading on the slipway in New Street due to a lack of business.

Brothers Pino and Felice Battista, who run Franca’s Ice Cream, say their van is no longer viable there.

They complained to the council that they were unable to use the area over the Easter holiday weekend, when the weather was unusually warm, due to the number of cars parked in the area. The brothers, from High Wycombe, also said that an electricity box which powers the van has been hit by cars three times as there are no bollards to protect it.

A meeting of the council’s town and community committee heard that any new licensee would need the electricity to be reconnected and the council could charge for this.

Councillor Ian Reissmann said: “I’m quite happy that we approve in principle that we go ahead in securing applications to sell ice cream there. It seems to be a useful facility for people in the town and for visitors.”

Town and community manager Helen Barnett said the council couldn’t act before September when the Battistas’ lease ends.

In a letter to the council earlier this year, the Battistas said: “Unfortunately, we do feel vulnerable at this site, even without the cars parked in the area and we think that a car could hit the vehicle.

“The sale of ice creams on this site has been going down year on year and we feel that it is no longer viable for us to trade from.

“Our electricity box has again been damaged so we have taken this away and therefore are terminating the electric supply in that area.

“Based on the problems we have highlighted above, we feel we have no alternative but to give up the sale of ice creams on this site.”

Franca’s Ice Cream was founded 30 years ago by the brothers’ mother Franca and operates across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

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