NEW draft casual trading bylaws being proposed by Ennis Town Council are seeking to designate the Island car park at Cloughleigh for the sale of Christmas trees from December 1 to 24.
The draft bylaws are also recommending that the sale of trees will require a licence. If adopted the bylaws would mean that the sale of Christmas trees would be restricted to the Island carpark, prohibiting the activity elsewhere.
At this week’s meeting of the Ennis Social and Economic Development Municipial Committee (MPC) the proposal was met with mixed reaction.
Councillor Michael Guilfoyle said that he agreed with the suggestion to restrict the sale of Christmas trees to one location. He added that it wasn’t right that parts of the town centre are blocked up by cars waiting to buy trees and that the designation of one location, especially a car park, would eliminate this problem.
“In my view, a designated trading area wouldn’t be a big hardship for traders who sell Christmas trees. I think it’s the right thing to do out of consideration to other people using the town,” he said.
Fine Gael town councillor Mary Howard contended that a ratepayer based in the market should be allowed to continue to sell Christmas trees outside their own premises.
Ennis town clerk, Eddie Power said that the changes were being proposed to make trading areas safer.
However, chairman of the MPC, Councillor Johnny Flynn, said that he saw problems with some aspects of the draft bylaws. He said that he didn’t agree with the new trading licence charge and the extension of trading hours prior to Christmas, which he felt would lead to a lack of much-need parking spaces at a busy time of the year.
Other elements proposed in the draft casual trading bylaws are the requirement for traders to pay an annual fee for their licence, a change in the layout of trading stalls, the extension of the designated casual trading area to include market street car park and the introduction of a €50 events licence.