Business impact must be given full consideration

BARELY a week goes by without some new initiative or piece of legislation being introduced without, it seems, full consideration of the wider implications for licensed trade businesses.

This time it’s the new trade waste policy, currently being phased in across Edinburgh city centre.

On paper, it makes a lot of sense. In a bid to improve the appearance of the capital’s streets, commercial bins can no longer be kept on pavements and roads.

In practice, however, it’s causing a headache for many operators, particularly those of bars which occupy basements or are tucked away in the capital’s closes – the type of independent outlets which are a hallmark of Edinburgh’s licensed trade.

For them and their staff it means bumping full bins up or down steps so they can be emptied and then ensuring the bin is back in the property within the one-hour time frame – or risk a £1000 fine.

Waste is not allowed on the street overnight so operators of late night bars and clubs must ensure someone is there to put the bins out and bring them back in within the 60 minutes; depending on the collection time, that could mean having to pay a member of staff to go in when the venue is otherwise closed.

The council said it is working with businesses to address any issues.

But for the operators I spoke to, the policy is having a major day-to-day impact.

It’s high time councils and governments assessed the full impact of any measures on businesses before they are implemented.