Budleigh's fishy business

A BUDLEIGH Salterton businessman claims passing fishing boats are poaching his trade because of unfair trading laws.

A BUDLEIGH Salterton businessman claims passing fishing boats are poaching his trade because of unfair trading laws.

Fishmonger Mike England, owner of G&K Sanders fishmongers, in the High Street, has hit out at passing vessels allowed to sell their catch from Budleigh beach - who are free from adhering to the stringent laws he is bound by.

Mr England claims one vessel even sells fish bought in from an outside supplier who is not local to the area.

The fishmonger said the biased law was affecting his business, and he has contacted the town council to ask for help redressing the balance.

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Mr England said he was 'unhappy' passing vessels were permitted to sell their catch from the beach when his established Budleigh business was prohibited from doing the same.

He said he feared his business could fold if the passing trade was allowed to continue.

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Mr England told the town council: "As a shop owner in the town and a law abiding citizen who pays full business rates and adheres to health and safety regulations, I am most unhappy that local fishermen seem to be able to sell their catch without having to fulfil any of the strict requirements that I must bear.

"I believe that my business is now being affected and I am concerned that there may well come a time when there will cease to be a fishmonger in Budleigh, a local and traditional shop which regularly draws customers to the town."

The Budleigh fishmonger said last year he was told by the district council he could not compete for business on the beach without permission from the town's traders.

He said: "Last summer I approached East Devon District Council with a view to selling my own produce on the beach, namely sandwiches and salads, and was told that as it maybe seen as competition for the existing businesses and I would only be allowed to proceed with their blessing.

"The existing businesses refused to consent to this, a decision which I fully understand.

"Therefore I feel quite angry that local fishermen can compete for my trade without such an agreement from me."

The town council said Trading Standards officers were unable to get involved unless there was proof the catch being labelled as 'local' was not.

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