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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 September 2006, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Town to remove fast food traders
Unlicensed fast food sellers and street peddlars will be removed from Maidstone town centre under new powers granted to the borough council by Parliament.

It will have the power to seize goods and stalls from traders where before prosecution was the only option.

"That did not deter hardened peddlars," said spokesman Keith Hatcher. "They would go to court, get fined and they go back on the streets."

"It was a glaring issue we felt it was essential to address."

'Attracted pedlars'

The Maidstone Borough Council Act, which was passed by Parliament on 15 July, came into force on Thursday.

Licensing manager Mr Hatcher said the measure was targeted at traders selling a variety of goods but fast food sellers were the main problem.

"Maidstone has had lots of investment, such as the new Fremlin Centre, which has attracted lots of shoppers," he said.

"As a consequence it has attracted a lot of pedlars as well.

"We have had complaints from the shops, the town centre management, the police and the public."

Licensed traders, which included two fast food sellers, would not be affected.

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