Touts ruining Brick Lane’s ‘curry mile’ reputation, mayor told
RESTAURANTS in London’s Brick Lane ‘curry mile’ could lose their trading licence—if they don’t stop using illegal touts to draw in passers-by.
That’s the promise Mayor Lurtfur Rahman gave fed-up residents in East London who petitioned last night’s Tower Hamlets council meeting.
One protester, businessman Matthew Smith, was accosted 11 times in one day by touts from different restaurants along the narrow street on his way home.
“The aggressive touting is intimidating,” he told the Mayor. “Restaurant owners who are harming the East End’s reputation should have their licenses revoked.
“The unrestricted touting for customers can appear intimidating to visitors.”
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The campaigners believe sanctions are too light and are calling for fines of �2,000 as well as revoking licenses.
Mayor Rahman promised to review licences—but it won’t be easy.
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The local authority has already prosecuted 70 touts since its tough bylaws were brought in five years ago. But the touts often get off with light fines, councillors heard. Even installing CCTV ‘spy’ cameras had failed to get rid of them.
Another sanction against restaurant owners suggested by councillors was to see if the touts were being paid the ‘minimum London wage’ and weather National Insurance was being paid.