U-turn on spud van decision

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

The owner of a jacket potato van is celebrating after the council did a u-turn and let her pitch in Kimberley.

Stephanie Hather was left angry and upset after she was told earlier this year she could not sell her jacket potatoes in her home town.

But the council has now backed down and Stephanie said she is overjoyed.

“I receieved an email to say they would consider it on a trial basis, and they told me I could start next Monday.

“I’m really, really pleased. It doesn’t take away how long it’s all taken to get sorted, but I’m happy about it.

“It was quite unexpected. I actually thought I would have more of a fight, so I’m glad it’s all over.”

Stephanie, 30, felt she was messed around earlier this year when the council gave her the go ahead for her potato van, then pulled the plug the day before she was due to start.

The council said it had concerns about her van taking trade away from other businesses in the town.

Stephanie, who lives in Kimberley’s Woodside Avenue, launched an online petition and met with the council’s chief executive, Ruth Hyde, to fight her cause.

Ms Hyde agreed the decison seemed unfair, and told her she would take it to the council committee.

In a comment the council said: “Following discussions with a local operator, the council has agreed to a 12 week trial in Kimberley for a jacket potato stall on Mondays. The council is committed to giving local businesses opportunities in the borough and this will allow the local operator to assess the trade area, as well as for council offices to monitor any impact on other businesses in the town centre.”

Stephanie said: “I just don’t understand why it was stopped in the first place.

“I’m passionate about my business and desperatley wanted to bring it to Kimberley. I would have foiught tooth and nail.”

The mum of two will be selling jacket potatoes every Mlonday from Toll Bar Square.

She works in other areas of the borough including Eastwood.

Kimberley councillor Richard Robinson said earlier this year she had been treated ‘attrociously’ and locals said it was terrible that a working mum trying to make a living was turned down.