Spud van ban caterer takes on authority

Stephanie Hather pictured with her jacket potato business
Stephanie Hather pictured with her jacket potato business

A woman who runs a jacket potato stall has launched a petition to fight against a decision which stopped her trading in Kimberley.

Stephanie Hather wanted to pitch one day a week on the town’s Toll Bar Square, but her application was rejected by Broxtowe Borough Council earlier this year.

This week the determined mum-of-two has met with the council’s chief executive Ruth Hyde OBE and has now launched an online petition to fight her case.

She said: “Ruth said there shouldn’t have been any reason why I couldn’t stand in Kimberley. She said it should have been given the go-ahead.”

Ms Hyde told Stephanie she could not get involved in politics and override the decision, the mobile caterer said.

But she advised Stephanie to launch a petition, and agreed to take the matter to a committee hearing in May if it had not already been resolved.

Stephanie, who was born and bred in Kimberley, was given the green light by the council to pitch her stall in the town earlier this year.

But she received an email from them the night before her first day calling the whole thing off.

Stephanie was told an email had gone out to local Kimberley councillors informing them of the plans, and two had expressed grave concern about other businesses in the town being affected.

But Stephanie said a take away service once a week would not affect the town’s trade.

“I’m a single parent with two children aged two and three and I am working hard to develop and grow my business to provide for my family.

“I have successfully applied for a pitch in Stapleford which has not suffered the same rejection and I’ve been trading for around seven weeks now, with huge success and approval from local people.

“I believe it is really important for all types of businesses, particularly new businesses, to be allowed the opportunity to trade in Kimberley, which is a thriving town.

“I just think it’s unfair.”

Kimberley councillor Richard Robinson said that he felt Stephanie had been treated ‘atrociously’.

He said: “I’m disgusted with what has happened and how she has been treated. I think she has been dealt with atrociously. There needs to be fairness here.”

Ms Hyde told the Advertiser: “The application will be put before councillors for determination on May 11 when elected councillors will be able to consider the merits of the application and what the occasional operation of this business may contribute to the town centre of Kimberley .

“They will also consider whether there would be any potentially harmful impacts and weigh up these factors.

“As an officer of the council I acknowledge the positive business case presented by the business concerned but this is a political judgement to be made in a democratic fashion in accordance with the policy framework.”

Sign Stephanie’s petition at ipetitions.com.