Wanstead gets behind barber

The fine given to Wanstead Hairdresser’s for putting chairs on the pavement has angered Wanstead people so much a petition has been started.

Redbridge officials gave the £100 fine, first reported here in Wansteadium, to the Woodbine Place shop just after lockdown was eased when demand for haircuts was at a high. The chairs were put outside so that customers didn’t have to cram on to the benches inside, or stand for a long time outside. A lot of the shop’s customers are elderly.

The story appeared on Monday night on BBC London News, in which Redbridge gave the following response:

“It’s important there is a level playing field for businesses in the borough as it would be unfair for those that have paid for a [pavement] licence if we simply turned a blind eye to those that hadn’t, and it’s also essential we ensure the public highway is kept free of any obstructions.”

Redbridge statement, via BBC London News

In Wansteadium’s humble opinion this statement misses the point in a couple of key ways.
* Firstly there’s no reason why an informal warning to Paul – and the others shops who were fined – wouldn’t have achieved the same result of a level playing field.
* Secondly, yes, the public highway needs to be kept clear, but HELLO? Ever heard of SOCIAL DISTANCING? Is that not important too?

A waiving of the fine would demonstrate that, having made their point about playing fields and highways, this was not just a chance for Redbridge to make some quick money.

A petition has now been started in support of Paul. It’s available here.