Making the papers this morning, a five-year old girl is fined £150 by local council for selling 50p cups of homemade lemonade to passing festival goers. Four Tower Hamlet council enforcement officers issued her a fixed penalty notice, demanding immediate payment of £90 or £150 if unable to pay right away.
Girl was reduced to tears as she ran into her father saying “I’ve done a bad thing.” The council dropped the fine once they realised that the father of the girl was a reporter for the Telegraph and the Guardian, having promptly written an article on the issue for the former paper. They also issued an apology, stating that “we are very sorry…we expect our enforcement officers to show common sense, and to use their powers sensibly…this clearly didn’t happen.”
Still, as the father rightly pointed out, this was all well and good for a family with influence (in the media) but if this was not the case it is unlikely that the charges would have been dropped. “If there are other people who have been fined in a similar way, then this is kind of worrying” the father stated.
Three cheers for regulation and bureaucracy.
Andre Spicer: My five-year-old daughter was fined £150…for selling lemonade (The Telegraph)
Kevin Rawlinson: Girl, 5, fined £150 for running homemade lemonade stall” (The Guardian)
BBC Associated Press: Girl, 5, fined £150 for lemonade stand (BBC)
Narjaz Zazat: Council shuts down five-year-old girl’s lemonade stand and fines her £150 (The Independent)