Ice-cream fight goes on

An ice-cream vendor has taken her fight for a street-trading licence to the village whose council attempted to ‘ban’ her van – and says she got overwhelming support from local people.

Helen Smith clashed with Alnmouth Parish Council after it voted to make a formal objection amid claims that her pitch on Riverside Road spoils views of the estuary and coast, is a threat to the viability of the village shop and a danger to traffic and pedestrians at a nearby junction.

But Mrs Smith says she has been the victim of a ‘witch-hunt’ within the seaside community – and on Saturday, she turned up unannounced in her car with a stack of petition forms. “I wanted to see for myself what the public opinion was,” she said. “The reaction from the public was overwhelming. I had local people who said they totally supported me.

“Three hundred people signed the petition and only four I spoke to said they had a problem with the van.”

Gazette readers have also been having their say since we broke the story on last week’s front page, with a number of comments made on our website.

‘Smudja’ wrote: “I signed the young lady’s petition, there were hundreds of people in support.”

But ‘Reece Lloyd’ commented; “An ice cream van thrown in to the mix at this very spot is a recipe for disaster.”

Northumberland County Council’s licensing committee will decide Mrs Smith’s application at a later date.