Vive le cuppa a la pavement

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Never mind gay Paris . . . it’s happy Chorley.

For traders and shoppers have raised their cuppas to the town’s growing pavement cafe culture.

Chorley Council bosses are currently reviewing the authority’s pavement cafe policy. Pavement cafes have been hugely popular on the continent – especially Paris –for more than a century.

Now Chorley cafe owners hope the council does not ‘kerb’ folks’ enjoyment when they visit the town and have a pavement cuppa.

The council wants to ensure the policy is “fit for purpose and serves the needs of the traders and other town centre users and has an element of clear regulation built in to prevent abuse”.

The issue went before the overview and scrutiny committee on Monday. Chairman Coun Steve Holgate said it was not a case of stopping cafe owners from having pavement cafes – but simply making sure they were regulated and not open to abuse.

He said: We are trying to create an environment, so it doesn’t cause problems, because it can. It’s the sort of thing that needs to be regulated.We want to encourage the cafe culture, given the limitations of our weather, but do it in way that’s monitored and not abused. If people want to create the outside socialising that takes place across Europe, then we will encourage it, but it needs to be done in a way that’s regulated - without putting on silly fees and making it restrictive.

“There’s huge opportunity in Chorley to create outside space and the town centre is ready for some revitalisation. If we can accommodate that, that will be fantastic.”

Sue Booth, owner of Coffee Club, Market Street, Chorley, said: “I have tables and chairs outside. I hope it continues and grows. Our customers really enjoy it – especially if the sun’s shining.”