A trader selling coffees and pastries from a van in Oxford has been given an extended licence by city councillors.

Three months ago councillors gave James Sherriff a licence to trade from his Little Blue Van in Frideswide Square.

Last week, members of the city council's licensing sub-committee extended the licence by a year.

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Mr Sherriff, 39, said he was pleased he will be able to continue trading from his pitch just outside the Said Business School.

He added: "It's a good position and I'm popular with students and commuters.

"The coffee comes from Jericho Coffee Traders and the pastries from the Natural Bread Company in Botley.

"Commuters and tourists have said I'm very welcome here - people walking from the station into town stop to buy a coffee."

thisisoxfordshire: James Sherriff in The Little Blue VanFather-of-four Mr Sherriff lives with his partner Kim in Jericho.

His previous job was as a tower crane operator and he has worked on the construction of numerous landmark buildings including the Courtyard by Marriott hotel.

He plans to trade from 6am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and from 6am to 2pm on Saturday.

There are no other food vans trading in Frideswide Square.

It is a restricted zone subject to a traffic restriction order, which means no parking or loading and unloading is allowed.

The county council's civil enforcement team (CET) issued Mr Sherriff with a parking ticket on January 16 but the decision was later reversed.

The city council's licensing sub-committee was told the CET had received a complaint about the location of the van and raised concerns that it could "potentially cause damage to the footway which has not been designed to accommodate vehicles".

City councillor Susanna Pressel said she supported Mr Sherriff trading from Frideswide Square.

thisisoxfordshire: She has been in correspondence with  John Charlton, the county council's team leader of Parking Enforcement, who told her: "We are currently reviewing the situation however for a short period I have asked for The Little Blue Van not to be issued with any PCNs. 

"We will continue to work with the city council to resolve this issue."

Ms Pressel said: "The Little Blue Van has a lot of devoted fans, who appreciate its excellent, locally-roasted coffee.

"It would be a pity if it had to move to a different place.

"I hope we can find a spot in Frideswide Square where it can park without the risk of damaging the paving stones (which were not designed to support a heavy vehicle).

"I have extracted a promise from the county council’s parking department that they will hold off from giving fines while we try to come up with a solution. The city council’s licensing department is helping.”

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A spokesman for the county council said: "The county council did not withdraw its objections. The county council is continuing discussions with the city council on this issue. 

"No enforcement action will be undertaken whilst these discussions continue.”

Mr Sherriff added that he hoped the issue regarding parking was now being resolved.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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