Charity Christmas tree seller ordered to close stall

12:27 20 December 2012

Mr White

Mr White's nephew Ben Miller was warned he would be cautioned if he is found there again. Picture: Ron Lamb

Archant

Killjoy council officials have threatened to close down a Christmas tree stall which raises money for charity.

The stall, owned by Hackney man Nick White, is in a private alleyway off Stoke Newington High Street and has been operating from there without trouble for six years.

However, Hackney Council has now said because it is within seven metres of the highway, Mr White requires a street trading permit.

Mr White, 56, a garden centre owner, gives a proportion of each Christmas tree sale to St Joseph’s Hospice in Mare Street, Hackney, where he regularly volunteers.

He has raised more than £25,000 for charity in the past 10 years.

He said: “It is just trees and I pay my rent regularly.

“If they close me down, I will lose thousands of pounds in stock just before Christmas and will not be able to help the hospice this year.

“I feel very upset about that, as I have always supported the community and I want to continue doing it.”

Mr White has conducted business from the area for the past 20 years, and previously owned a vegetable shop in Stoke Newington High Street.

He has become a go-to figure for locals during the winter holiday season, supplying hundreds of trees to customers who will this year lose out if he is forced to close down.

Anah Parker, 27, an assistant fashion buyer from Stoke Newington, said: “We’ve bought our tree from there for the last couple of years. It is really nice just being able to stroll down the road and pick a tree.

“He is cheaper than other places as well. The tree was great – dropped the odd needle though.”

Two council enforcement officers visited the stall and warned Mr White’s nephew Ben Miller, 21, who is employed by his uncle as a salesman, that he will be cautioned if he is found there again.

A council spokesman said: “It would be unfair to legitimate, licensed traders to ignore illegal trading regardless of the time of year or the charitable intentions of the trader.

These regulations are in place to protect consumers and our vibrant high streets.

“Those found trading without licences can be issued with on the spot fines and prosecuted, with a maximum penalty of £2,500. Their goods can also be seized.”

Latest Stories

41 minutes ago
James Dowson is a former BNP Party member and founder of Britain First [Picture: Paul Faith/PA Wire]

The founder of a nationalist group that staged ‘Christian patrols’ on Brick Lane and invaded the East London Mosque has resigned and rejected his past behaviour.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:02
The chair appears to move of its own accord - or perhaps there is a ghostly explanation?

The spooky goings on apparently took place just hours after a psychic medium took to the stage in Romford. Coincidence? Almost certainly...

Read more
Yesterday, 14:28
People enjoy the Royal Victoria beach as temperatures reaches 28C in London.

This weekend saw London’s biggest manmade beach open at the Royal Victoria Dock in Canning Town.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more
How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more