Father describes £150 fine over stall run by child

Andre Spicer's five-year-old daughter running a lemonade stand before it was shut down by Tower Hamlets council
Andre Spicer's five-year-old daughter running a lemonade stand before it was shut down by Tower Hamlets council

A man who was fined £150 after his daughter set up a lemonade stall has described how four council officials told him to shut it down as he held the crying five-year-old in his arms.

Andre 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,” Professor Spicer told the Press Association.

Lemonade cost £1 for a large glass, 50p for a small one. But after just half an hour, four officials demanded they stop and issued them with an £150 fine, which could be reduced to £90 if paid quickly.

“They were following a script,” said Professor Spicer, who said daughter burst into tears at they spoke.

“I had to pick her up and hold her.”

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

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

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

However, the council spokesman said that “strictly speaking” the setting up of such a stall could be seen as illegal trading.

Professor 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.”