Game over in row over table tennis

A cafe owner has cried foul after being ordered to get rid of a ping pong table he brought in to liven up a town centre plaza.

Friday, 6th July 2018, 3:05 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 4:58 pm
Pastels cafe owner Gage Dunstan outside the cafe in St John's Square

Gage Dunstan, 29, from Pastels in St John’s Square, claims the outside table isn’t doing anyone any harm – but the council said he acted without permission.

Gage said: “If the problem is with licensing I asked them how I could get one, but they said it needed to be a supervised activity. It’s not a dangerous structure.

“We put the table up last week and we had a lot of people using it. It wasn’t just for customers, we just stuck it out and anybody could use it.

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“There’s nothing going on in the square at the moment, so it was just to make the area look a bit better.”

Pasels, which moved to the resort from Cleveleys, was visited by council staff earlier this week on a separate matter, The Gazette understands.

The firm would need permission from the authority’s roads department to keep the table, a town hall spokeswoman said.

She added: “Of course we want people to have fun, that’s part of the spirit of Blackpool, and we welcome well-managed cafes so that they enhance the town centre.

“Our cafe licences only allow for an agreed number of tables and chairs. Permission to place any other structures or equipment on premises that are not the cafe owners’ must be sought from Blackpool Council highways.

“The reason for having policies in place is because there are many things that need to be considered, for example if something is an obstruction for pedestrians, is the structure safe, or is the relevant insurance in place.”