Residents and visitors to Wolverhampton are being asked to help shape a revamp of the city centre's street trading offer.

Proposals to broaden the variety of food stalls, ensure units are of a high quality and concentrate traders in higher footfall areas have been put forward by Wolverhampton City Council.

The plan will also seek views on proposals which would see traders given extra security and incentive to invest more into their businesses with the introduction of 3 year licences.

A public consultation began on Monday 7 October and will run for 6 weeks.

Officers have previously engaged with residents and visitors, via face to face interviews and the council's Wolverhampton Today Facebook page to gauge views on the current street trading offer.

Feedback showed that people valued the street traders as the service they provided was convenient, quick and cheap while staff were considered friendly.

But, while people expressed strong support for some of the existing traders, they stated that the offer wasn't diverse enough. Suggested new trade lines included healthy eating options, extra vegetarian options and more international food.

They also raised concerns about the appearance of some of the vans.

The planned change to the offer includes:

  • Increase the number of units in the city centre but replace some of the existing hot dog and burger trade lines with a more diverse offer
  • Introduce 3 year licences for traders, giving them more security and right to appeal any failure to renew licences
  • Reduce the number of traders in Dudley Street but concentrate them in high footfall areas
  • Introduce new unit conditions to ensure they are of high quality

Any traders that are potentially affected by the proposals will be offered support and the first option on setting up new trade lines.

Councillor Peter Bilson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Prosperity, said: "There is no question that the traders we have provide a popular service and are an asset to our city centre.

"From talking to the public, we also know that people want to see a wider variety of food stalls to add to the quality we already offer.

"But if we are asking people to change their trade lines or invest in their vans, it is crucial that they are given extra reassurance for the future. Currently, their consent is renewed annually but the new licences will be for 3 years and also give them rights of appeal should these not be renewed in the future.

"Enhancing the street trading offer forms an important part of our overall plans for the city centre but I must stress that this is a proposal at this stage. We will welcome and listen to all views put forward."

From Monday 7 October, people can review and comment on the proposals by visiting Type=articles;Articleid=3376;Title=City Centre Street Trading Consultation;.

  • released: Tuesday 8 October, 2013