Strand on the Green Ice Cream Trike's Licence Renewed

Objections of schools' headteachers overruled by council panel

Tricycle-based gelato salesman Marcele Detomaso
Tricycle-based gelato salesman Michele Detomaso

A tricycle gelato stand that is positioned outside Strand on the Green Infant and Junior Schools at pick up time has had its licence renewed despite the objections of two headteachers.

The borough Licensing Panel met on Wednesday 27 April to discuss the bid by Michele Detomaso to continue trading at the junction of Thames Road and Brooks Lane as No Solo Gelato.

The Panel had received three representations against the licence including from Ruth Woods and Vanessa Townsend, headteachers at the nearby schools. They had argued that the granting of the licence would be harmful to the health of children undermining their anti-obesity policy and presented a risk of accidents.

A survey of parents and carers conducted by the school showed that a majority of the 255 who responded (57%) were against the licence being granted.

Mr Detomaso addressed the panel and told them that the road did not have much traffic at the time he traded there and he had been operating from the site for seven years without a single accident or reported near miss. His three children had attended the school.

To the objection that his product may tend to cause obesity among the children, he pointed out that he sold only authentic artisan gelato which contained no preservatives or animal fat. He added that his product is no more fattening than the dessert options provided for meals at the school which include chocolate cookies, brownies and, ironically, ice cream.

The Panel considered that there was no reason as to why the tricycle could not be positioned at the proposed location and accepted Mr Detomaso's argument that Brooks Lane was not a particularly busy area. The Panel agreed that it was the responsibility of the individual parents to take care when their children came out of the school or when queuing to buy ice creams.

One parent told us, "I think most parents at the school liked Michele being there but at the same time wanted to respect the authority of the headteachers so the poll held suggested more opposition than there really was against his presence. The teachers in turn felt they had a duty of care towards the children but really that is a decision for parents and carers once they are off school premises."

This was the second time in recent years that the panel upheld Mr Detomaso's licence in the face of objections. He will continue to operate there between March and late September pausing for about 15 minutes before moving on.

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January 8, 2021