Adur and Worthing eateries urged to go al fresco

Bars, cafes and restaurants are encouraged to go al fresco as part of wider efforts to help Adur and Worthing bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.

Adur and Worthing's bars, restaurants and cafes are encouraged to embrace al fresco
Adur and Worthing's bars, restaurants and cafes are encouraged to embrace al fresco

From the end of July, the government is set to give local authorities such as Adur & Worthing Councils powers to issue licenses to food and drink outlets that want to put tables and chairs outside their premises.

Despite legislation not yet being passed, the councils’ public health team has already offered informal advice to dozens of businesses looking to set up outdoors.

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The councils want to drum up even more interest, with those considering the move asked to get in touch without delay. This will support the wider revitalisation of the area’s high streets, maintain access for pedestrians and ensure space is allocated fairly while ensuring social distancing guidelines are followed.

Adur and Worthing's bars, restaurants and cafes are encouraged to embrace al fresco

As an incentive, all associated fees will be waived for this year. Those interested are encouraged to email [email protected]

Brian Boggis, Adur District Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “Pubs, cafes and restaurants play an extremely important role in our local economy which is why we’re determined to make it as quick, easy and simple as possible for them to serve customers outdoors in this post-lockdown world.”

Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for regeneration, added: “We know that after three months of lockdown businesses need a helping hand. This is why, despite not officially receiving powers until the end of the month, we are actively encouraging applications from businesses to make use of outdoor space as part of wider plans to revitalise our high streets.

“This will allow us to offer immediate advice and support on where tables and chairs can be placed. But more importantly it will ensure businesses can make the most of the Great British summer while keeping customers and staff safe.”

It comes as the government opened registration to businesses for its Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which allows firms to offer discounts to diners throughout August.

At last Tuesday’s joint strategic committee meeting, Labour’s Lee Cowen asked if the councils had enough resources to manage the extra advice and enforcement.

Officers said they had enough spare resource in the public health and regeneration teams.

Val Turner, Worthing’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said they wanted to allow traders to get as much business as possible at the same time as taking into account people with disabilities, and those who are blind or visually impaired.

She said: “The last thing we want is a repeat of the situation we had in Warwick Street a few years ago.”

Emma Evans, Adur’s executive member for environment, asked when issues arose if there was a process where the councils could review locations.

Officers said there would be a route where licenses could be reviewed if problems cropped up with health and safety or anti-social behaviour.

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