Dad fined €167 over five-year-old daughter’s lemonade stand

East London officials tell father to shut down the girl’s stall selling homemade drinks

Undated handout photo issued by André Spicer of his five-year-old daughter’s lemonade stand before it was shut down by Tower Hamlets council, in London, England. Photograph: André Spicer/PA Wire

Undated handout photo issued by André Spicer of his five-year-old daughter’s lemonade stand before it was shut down by Tower Hamlets council, in London, England. Photograph: André Spicer/PA Wire

 

A dad in England was fined £150 (about €167) after his five-year-old daughter set up a one-table lemonade stall.

The father described how four council officials told him to shut the stand down as he held the crying girl in his arms.

André Spicer, a business school professor, let the youngster set up a stand near their home to sell refreshments to people heading to the Lovebox music festival in Victoria Park, east London, last weekend.

“She basically suggested it herself,” Prof Spicer told the Press Association.

She made a sign for the stall and starting selling homemade lemonade — £1 for a large glass, and 50p for a small one.

But after just half an hour, four officials marched over and demanded that the two stop. The officials issued them with a £150 fine, telling them it could be reduced to £90 if paid quickly.

“They were following a script,” said Prof Spicer, adding that his daughter burst into tears as they spoke.

“I had to pick her up and hold her.”

Fine cancelled

Tower Hamlets council has since cancelled the fine and hand-delivered a note to Prof Spicer’s home to apologise, after he wrote an article in the Daily Telegraph describing the incident.

The four enforcement officers who shut down the stall should have used “common sense”, said the council.

“We are very sorry that this has happened,” a spokesman said.

“We expect our enforcement officers to show common sense and to use their powers sensibly. This clearly did not happen.

“The fine will be cancelled immediately and we have contacted Prof Spicer and his daughter to apologise.”

However, just because the fine has been dropped, that does not mean the children of Tower Hamlets can set up lemonade stands at will.

The council spokesman said: “Strictly speaking, it could be seen as illegal trading.”

Prof Spicer suggested enforcement of such rules where children are involved is part of a wider trend.

“The broader point here is how restrictive we have become with children,” he said.

“They are not allowed out of the house or anything.

“All we do is put them in front of the television or send them to adventure parks.”

PA