Hugh Town Street Trader Says He’s Quitting Following Council Vote

phill deason veg stallA St Mary’s stallholder says he’s going to “throw in the cabbage” and stop selling his fruit and veg in Hugh Town.

It follows the Council’s approval of a new Street Trading Policy last week, which bans operations along most of the main roads in Hugh Town.

For several years, Phill Deason has been setting up his popular stall outside the former Blues Restaurant in the centre of town.

But over the summer, he says the Council threatened to prosecute him for trading there without a licence. They had to apologise after he produced one, which he’d held for three years.

Even so, he was moved to Silver Street, where he says he was on a dangerous corner and his trade dropped by 40%.

During the road resurfacing work, he was given another chance to trade on the main street and Phill says many locals, including councillors, came to say they were glad to see him back. They told him he was providing a valuable service and that he should be allowed to stay where he was.

So he’s surprised by last week’s unanimous decision by councillors to restrict street trading there.

Phill says his experience over the past year has shown him that the Council isn’t interested in supporting local producers.

He feels the Council is “not interested in what people want, only what they want, like spending millions on unwanted workshops and an Airport Terminal.”

Phill says Scilly is losing its unique attraction to visitors through too many rules and regulations, with “bureaucracy taking over everything.”

And he says the “live and let live” small community spirit, where people all pulled together and helped one and other, is gone.

David and Lynn Townend, who own Sportsmode, have offered Phill a space outside their shop by The Park. He says he’s very grateful for their kind offer but feels there won’t be enough passing trade to sustain his business.

But he says he might place an honesty stand there instead.

Phill says he’ll now look at other options, such as selling his produce direct to local businesses.

He says he wants to say thank you to all the islanders and visitors who supported him over the past few years.



31 Responses to Hugh Town Street Trader Says He’s Quitting Following Council Vote

  1. Colin Bean December 2, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    John Hicks

    I don’t understand your response to my post. ALL decisions taken by any organisation are done on a “What if” basis. They have to consider the impact of their decisions upon all of us. Have you never heard of litigation?
    The council may or may not be correct in this instance, but what if (see what I mean?), five other roadside traders want to ply their business next to Phil, causing nuisance to passers by and or traffic? Who has to decide which business can stay and which has to go in the interest of public safety?
    Life is all about precedence and “What if”-just look at your insurance policy.
    I feel sorry for Phil-he provides a great service (fresh veg, which is almost impossible to get here), but a solution COULD be found.

    • John Hicks December 3, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Sorry Colin, i’m afraid i can’t agree on that one. If all decisions were taken on a ‘what if’ basis nothing would ever get done. All the years i spent on the council of the isles of Scilly i don’t ever remember making any decisions on ‘what if’. You have to work on facts and factual evidence, you can’t know what is going to happen ‘around the corner’. Each case would be taken on it’s own merits or lack there of.

      • Hecuba December 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm

        I didn’t respond to your earlier post on this John, partly because it was unfathomable and partly because I thought you were joking. Then I saw your suggestion that UKIP was a potential solution fr Ian and realised that perhaps you’ve just become slightly confused in your dotage*.

        I think that Colin’s right to make the point about the precedent this sets, and worry that councillors not asking ‘what if’ can be or could be blamed for current problems or potential future problems**. If your argument is that licensing law allows the authority to grant use of the pitch site to traders on an individual basis, whereby they can consider the product to be touted before granting the ‘slot’, then that’s fine, and your point could have been readily made by saying that ‘precedent is irrelevant’. But surely they do need to understand what would happen IF they were challenged on the grounds of discrimination?

        *I’m joking of course. You’re not that old and if you want to throw your weight behind a band of politicians that consistently discriminates against women in its policies and LGBT people in its attitudes then that’s fine by me.

        **i.e., ‘What if we are successfully sued for unfair dismissal and haven’t budgeted for the payout?” “What if we run out of fresh drinking water?” “What if we need to dig up the expensive and newly laid roads to upgrade the sewer system?” “What if nobody wants to run the TIC on our behalf?” “What if we face a revolt over the electric car policy (?) and end up being run down by an irate band of drivers surging towards Deep Point in a convoy of Nissan Leafs?”

        • LINDA, DAVID BADCOCK December 4, 2014 at 3:14 pm

          Pack it in you lot. This is about street trading in Scilly and many locals and visitors enjoying fresh vegetables and other local produce.
          We, who enjoyed the service Phil provided will miss his fresh vegetables and the SIMPLE fact is the decision was made to stop trading in and around the town. Shame on our councillors
          Thank you Phil

  2. Colin December 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    It’s just as well the chap with the bicycle with a fridge strapped to it isn’t still selling his ice creams then, no doubt the council would have some reason to shout “on yer bike” and move him on.

  3. Berty December 2, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Do street traders, pop ups or unmamed stalls with honesty boxs pay rates or any overheads? anyone know?

  4. bishop rock December 2, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Will the council stop Tracy’s pasties as well!!!

    • Ian T. December 2, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Surely the double yellow lines have ended Tracy’s street trading..?? As to what happens when Phil retires, a license is required for street trading so no one would deny the right of the Council to refuse an inappropriate trader.

  5. onceagainfrustrated December 2, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Goodness me, what about all the country villages throughout that at least once a week have a market day (very popular all over the country) and completely fill the whole of their main high streets; we had just the one person selling his wares, which are (were) very popular, infact so popular that timing had to be accurate as he soon sold out of his produce. Hence he really wasn’t there for very long once sold out, packed up and gone home. What a sad day for this island as someone in their comments questioned if it was outsiders making the decisions, I think there might be some truth in that, for a start look at the mess that has been made at the airport concerning parking arrangements etc locals have had no say in the matter there!! We all realise that changes have to be made but some are unacceptable and senseless.

  6. Colin Bean December 2, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Trouble is.. this isn’t about Phil, as much as I like and buy his produce.
    If and when Phil retires from trading, will his pitch be taken up by a burger van or a trader whose goods are not seen as so useful and the selling of which is detrimental to the residents nearby?
    The council has to consider the “what ifs”.

    • John Hicks December 2, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Haha, i do like your tongue in cheek response Colin, what if there were to be a problem with the skybus company, what if there were to be a problem with the steamship company, what if there were to be a poisoning problem in one of the guest houses, do they close them all just in case….. And the hotels too, and the self catering just incase someones washing machine blew up in one, what if that were to happen. I really don’t think any council can justify their policy decisions on a ‘what if’ basis. That is just ridiculous in my humble opinion…..

  7. Nick December 2, 2014 at 5:05 am

    Perhaps Phil’s spot should be replaced with stocks and a vote taken for the first series of victims…

  8. Chris December 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    I wonder if the council will take note. As stated already, the councillors are in office to represent the views of the voters but there isn’t a single comment in this thread agreeing with the council’s decision which suggests that the council is not representing its electorate. There are, however, many that question the wisdom and validity of this decision. As an irregular visitor to St Mary’s and therefore a small contributor to the islanders’ incomes, I add my criticism to this decision. Think again, Councillors, and remember that one definition of democracy is ” government by the people or their elected representatives.” (Farlex Online Dictionary). I think it’s time to act on behalf of the people who elected you.

  9. Chas Nethercott December 1, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    As frequent visitors to Scilly we think Phil should be allowed to stay where he is and not be shifted from pillar to post. He’s not causing any trouble. Come on Isles of Scilly Council officials. Stop being a load of jobsworths. There’s enough of them on the mainland.
    Chas Nethercott

  10. Nigel Porter December 1, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Who are these people who wish to remove and make the islands bland and boring which for a lot of people who go back year after year worth it. They are the people who kill off anybody who makes life worth living while being paid very money to enjoy life at other peoples expense. The local people should rise up and tell where to go,

  11. Richard H December 1, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    As a frequent visitor from the mainland I despair at the increasingly bureaucratic decisons that emanate from the Town Hall. Is it because “outsiders” have been brought in to run the council? The council needs to recognise that Scilly IS DIFFERENT. Stop the relentless programme of change. The reason we visit Scilly is because of people like Phill and all the other charming features of these islands. Stop ruining it.

  12. Enquirer December 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Once more a decision passed by the Councillors on the nod following blindly the wishes of the Council Officers. Nothing changes!

  13. Phil George December 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    What another sad day for Scilly! Surely the vegetable stand is far more desirable to look at than the slowly decaying Blues restaurant.

  14. ann December 1, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    People like phil are the ones that put life into town. His old spot was perfect, everybody felt happy to see him there, and buy his stuff.
    I have a question: were do these decision makers come from?
    Phil, if you decide to try the sportsmode space, I bet that people will come to you.(I personally hate the street corner in silver street. Unsafe and illogical.

  15. Jeff Eastick December 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Agree with all the previous points raised on this subject. Phill’s old pitch outside of the still empty Blues Restaurant made good use of a dead space and caused no traffic problems but it seems common sense is a commodity that is sadly lacking in your councillors , who seem to be lead by the nose into making decision after decision that make little or no sense.

  16. Richard December 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    As a several times summer visitor to Scilly myself, I couldn’t agree more with Frances, John Hicks etc. For our family, it’s the ‘quirky’, old-fashioned things like Phil’s stall, produce sold outside people’s houses with honesty boxes and the like that are an inherent part of the appeal of the islands. Please, please don’t sanitise such a magical place. Your Councillors need their collective heads examined.

  17. frank davis December 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Again, another one to add. When I’m across there, I prefer to buy my veggies fresh and locally sourced. If Phil does move to front of sportsmode I don’t think people will mind the extra walk. Alternatively they could just take the simple option and let him stay were he is.

  18. Sara Corbett December 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I agree with all these comments. It needs to be remembered that the very reason that visitors come to Scilly is because “Scilly is different”. I cannot understand why the council felt that Phil Deason couldn’t sell his beautifully fresh veg (something that the Coop can’t provide) right outside ex Blues. It is a massive space and beautifully central so that people can walk to the stall and not have to drive.
    The council have to remember that they are there to represent the views of the people and not their own opinions.

  19. Frances Sivyer December 1, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I have been coming to Scilly for some 50 years now, some spending seven weeks a year on the Islands. I have been saying for years now Scilly is being spoilt..Yellow lines, coloured flags on the quay (so that visitors can get on the right boat – has not made much difference) sign posts everywhere. And so it goes on. The uniqueness of Scilly has gone. i.e. the boatmen chatting to the visitors, fun finding out where to go and what way to go, not allowed to go on the end of the quay etc. (a lot of people always went to the quay to see the Scillonian come in, etc. I agree with John Hicks comments. I could go on and on. I am so glad I found the Scillies when I was young

  20. Bill December 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Another small part of the unique character that is ( was ) Scilly is killed off. Phil now has to find another source of income. There does seem to be a bit of a marble shortage among the rulemakers – remember that attracting tourists is what keeps the islands afloat ( not whacky schemes to attract here today gone tomorrow techie types.

  21. Steve December 1, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Great shame, this. Phil provides a really valuable, high quality service of the kind the Council should be encouraging, not outlawing! Time for our leaders to show that they can respond to the views of the people who elect them by reversing this crass decision and giving Phil his old spot back.

  22. Winkles December 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I cannot express how much I disagree with this latest decision by the Council. Readily accessible, fresh, locally grown vegetables and other produce is sorely needed on the islands and it is something that is wanted by locals and tourists alike. People like to know where their food is coming from and we should be encouraging local businesses and Islanders who provide fresh items, as John rightly said. This needs to be revisited! Let Phil have his old spot back!

    • Ian T. December 1, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      There is a serious lack of fresh local goods on St Mary’s in particular. There has been an opportunity to produce these using some of the redundant bulb fields for years. But, growing food is a lot more labour intensive than bulbs.

      How did the islanders survive a hundred years ago when the only transport was a rather small boat? ‘EU Rules and Regulations’ you may cry – what nonsense!

      I suppose I shouldn’t encourage people to flout the law but,since the Council apparently don’t have the will (or guts) to force change – why not just get on and do it. Brussels won’t nuke the islands! (p.s. No, I don’t support UKIP)

      • John Hicks December 2, 2014 at 10:59 am

        Pehaps you should!!! ????????????????

  23. Mark December 1, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Why has Phil been kicked off his old pitch? It is safe and off the street. He provides fresh quality produce which a lot of people enjoy. Please can the Council sort this mess out as it is their policies that are upsetting the voters.

  24. John Hicks December 1, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Talk about taking a step backwards, i feel very sorry for Phil, who is a decent hard working guy, making a meagre living and being thwarted by idiotic council policy, no cars, no people and next will be no visitors i suppose allowed to use the high street. I feel the council is going right against the current trend of encouraging entrepreneurial enterprises by shutting down the very things that make Scilly that bit more special and makes it a bit more worthwhile and exciting to those visitors who have to pay vast sums to holiday there. The council should be encouraging, not discouraging enterpise. Shame on them.