Caerphilly Council waives street café licence fees to support struggling town centres

Caerphilly County Borough Council have decided to waive fees associated with the street café licence until September 2021 to support local businesses

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It is hoped that scrapping the street cafe licence fee will help local businesses survive the difficult economic climate

Businesses in Caerphilly are now allowed to have outdoor seating without paying a street café licence fee until September 2021.

A street café licence is required for businesses to place furniture on a public street and it usually comes with a fee and a 28 day consultation period. 

Caerphilly County Borough Council approved plans on 28 October to change this by shortening the consultation period and waiving fees in order to make it easier for local businesses to get a licence.

A report on the proposal said this would create a “street café culture” and add “vitality, colour, life and interest” to town centres struggling to survive in the challenging economic climate.

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Glanmor’s Tea Room say they have seen more people using outdoor seating despite the weather

Cllr. Sean Morgan, cabinet member for economy and enterprise, said he believed this would boost business for local cafés that have been hit by the pandemic.

“Café’s have lost around 50 percent of their seating because of Covid measures,” he said, “this allows them to spill out onto the street and get back to their full capacity.”

Too little too late?

The council’s report acknowledged that outdoor seating is most useful in the spring and summer, but will businesses survive until then?

Sean said the council’s decision did not coincide with the time of year but with the impact of the pandemic on the economy, and he believed that winter weather would not be a hindrance.

“I don’t think the cold weather is too much of a constrict,” he said, “it’s a difficult time for town centres and something needed to be done.”

Glamor’s Tea Room has been serving the community of Caerphilly since 1983 and is a favourite for locals

Owner of Glanmor’s café, Lynne Evans, agreed and said that, despite the recent bad weather, she had seen more people using the café’s outdoor seating.  

However, she feared this is too little too late for some businesses who may not make it to the spring and summer months.

Coffee shop culture in the Welsh valleys

Coffee shops have been an integral part of the Welsh valleys ever since the 1800s
when Italian families, who had migrated to the country, began opening them in its
sleepy towns. 
Caerphilly still has some great Italian coffee shops, such as Ricci's in Bargoed and Caesar's
 in Blackwood.
 They have become a staple on the high street and in the community, 
and so it is important they survive.