- Street trading—consent regime—services—EU Services Directive 2006—authorisation scheme (R (Poole) v Birmingham City Council)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Local Government analysis: The claimants challenged the local authority’s street trading policy and authorisation scheme which it used to decide whether and to whom to grant consents to operate as street traders in the city centre. The challenge focused on the aspect of the scheme under which the authority took account of the type of goods to be sold by the trader including whether or not they were ‘innovative’. It was argued that this consideration was unlawful for the purposes of the EU Services Directive 2006 (the Directive) because it was a purely economic consideration and not ‘justified by an overriding reason relating to the public interest’, as required by the Directive. The court held that this was not so. The reason for taking account of the consideration was to pursue the authority’s stated aim of increasing consumer choice and enhance the ambience of the city centre which were legitimate social policy and environmental aims within the Directive. The other grounds of challenge were also dismissed. This is one of the first domestic authorities on the construction of the Directive and Regulations, and the first to consider the legitimacy of considerations taken into account in an authorisation scheme and the relationship between ‘purely economic considerations’ and ‘overriding reasons relating to the public interest’. Written by Jonathan Manning, barrister at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square (and counsel for the authority).
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