Image above: Marcele Detomaso with his ice cream tricycle
An ice cream salesman has again been granted a trading licence to sell his product outside of Strand on the Green school, despite fierce opposition from parents and school leadership.
Marcele Detomaso, who sells artisanal gelato from his tricycle, had applied to LB Hounslow to park his ‘No Solo Gelato’ stand outside Strand on the Green Infant and Junior Schools for another year, where he sells his product for six months over the summer.
A LB Hounslow Licensing Panel received representations against the licence from Vanessa Townsend and Ruth Woods, headteachers at Strand Infants and Junior schools. They argued the granting of the licence would be harmful to the health of children, undermining their anti-obesity policy and that it presented a risk of accidents by causing an obstruction.
The headteachers both cited a survey of parents, which found a majority of parents asked (57.3%) objected to the vendor selling his ice cream outside the school. Parents said it caused unnecessary bad feeling between them and their children when the children wanted ice cream and they said no.
Councillors reject objections
Addressing the Panel, Mr Detomaso said the road did not have much traffic at his trading times 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.
Responding to the objection that his product may tend to cause obesity among the children, he reiterated his written representation that he sold only authentic artisan gelato which contained no preservatives or animal fat. He added that his product was no more fattening than the dessert options provided for meals at the school which include chocolate cookies, brownies and, ironically, ice cream.
The Panel found 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.
This is the second year in a row that the panel upheld Mr Detomaso’s licence despite objections from the school and parents. He will continue to operate there between March and late September.
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