‘Taz Van’ gets the green light despite Bearsden residents’ petition

Objectors have hit out following the renewal of a licence to sell sweets and soft drinks from a van just yards away from a school.

Mosshead Residents’ Association collected 160 signatures on a petition against the ‘TazVan’, as it is known locally, in just five days.

However, councillors rejected the association’s concerns, voting unanimously to approve the application on the grounds that it was a renewal and that the trader had been there for a number of years. The van operates on Stockiemuir Avenue, Bearsden.

Chair of the Mosshead Residents’ Association Josie Beeley said: “We are all very disappointed.

“The street trader’s licence for the ‘Taz Van’ was renewed despite a local petition of 160 signatures.

“The van operates on school days only and is targeted at school children from the nearby Bearsden Academy.”

The majority of the objections from residents centred on the number of children clustering around the van leading to overspill onto the road and obstruction of the pavement, which the association said as a distraction for drivers and detrimental to road safety.

Mrs Beeley added: “There has also been complaints about litter, especially in the gardens of adjacent residents, to Bearsden North Community Council.”

Mrs Beeley said concerns had also been raised about the impact the van had on local traders, who provided a service to the community seven days a week in an area with no timetabled bus service.

And on health grounds, Mrs Beeley, a retired dental lecturer, said parents needed to consider the effects of sweets on the oral and dental health needs of youngsters.

Councillor Jim Gibbons, convener of the Civil Government Appeals Board, who chaired the licencing meeting, said: “All members voted unanimously to grant the trader’s licence.

“The Civic Government Board only has certain powers and we felt it would not be reasonable to refuse the licence.

“Members of the board were sympathetic to the residents’ concerns, but there were no grounds for refusal for the trader as he had been in operation for a number of years.

“As chair of the board I would be happy to meet the residents and explain how it works.”

The van owner Alastair Neil also said he was willing to meet any residents who had concerns.

He said: “The only thing I can say is I am fully aware of their objections. I would make myself available to residents.”

On concerns about litter and road safety he added: “I do supply bins and personally clean up litter each and every day when I am there. Police were at the meeting and they had no complaints over road safety.”

Mr Neil said he understands there may be an appeal.