GREAT Sankey’s ice cream van cold war gave many residents a giggle but their behaviour has received a frosty reception from another trader.
Matthew Bain, who has been running an ice cream van for the last 15 years, says other sellers’ antics are giving registered and licensed traders a bad name.
As reported in last week’s Warrington Guardian, police were called over the Easter bank holiday after pictures of three ice cream vans attempting to block one in went viral.
Matthew, whose patch covers Longford, Dallam, Bewsey, Burtonwood and Whitecross, said: “I wasn’t happy when I saw the pictures as I have been doing things above board for 15 years and then these rogue vans come from out of town, take money out of Warrington and then go back to Widnes.
“I don’t blame the drivers who are going out to earn a living but the council should be doing their job.
“I take the rough with the smooth trading through the winter and make my money in the summer whereas these vans are just turning up in the summer.”
In the last three years vans have had to be licensed and registered by the council.
Matthew says residents can spot an unlicensed van as they will not have a plate on the back similar to a taxi licence plate.
The 35-year-old added: “I bought my round off the person who did it before me and the kids I used to serve are now the parents.
“They know me and if a strange van came into the area they would avoid it.
“The council initially said they wanted us to register the streets we worked on but then said they could not police it and can’t keep an eye on every van.
“I reported a van was trading illegally without a licence more than six weeks ago to the council but they still haven’t done anything and I’ve paid £750 a year for my licence.”
A council spokesman said: “The fees for street trading consent which apply to ice cream sellers are reviewed annually and the fee for April 2014 to March 2015 is £542.
“The council does actively enforce the street trading laws and we do respond to and investigate all complaints.
“This has included a specific exercise over two days to target any unlicensed ice cream van traders.
"We will continue to respond to any intelligence received and to work with the trade protect their legitimate business interests."