A POPULAR Penarth cafe has said if it wasn't for outdoor seating they wouldn't be there.

It comes as the Vale of Glamorgan Council are proposing raising fees for businesses to have outdoor seating on pavements the next financial year 2023/24.

Charges for cafes to have seating on the street could go up by as much as £750 which has brought condemnation, with many businesses saying it could spell the end of cafe culture in the Vale. 

However for Sian Fox, of Foxy's Cafe on Victoria Road, she is just grateful to have the outdoor seating.

"It's the best thing the council has ever done for us," said Sian."Without it we would not be here."

Sian seems happy to absorb the increasing costs, saying her business would fair worse without outdoor seating altogether.

"They pay for themselves," said Sian. "They’re used in winter and in summer they are packed out all day long.

"I do not want the rents to go up but it is so helpful to my business having outside seating."

Penarth Times:

(Sian with Ukrainian employee Yuri says outdoor seating is vital to her business)

Penarth Times:

(Foxy's cafe has plenty of outdoor tables)

Around Lavernock point, cafes in Barry are describing how they are being “robbed blind”, by the proposals.

Mandi Pidgeon and Kara Bennett, who run The Well Being Shop opposite King Square in the centre of Barry, said they could not believe what the council was proposing.

Well Being has a licence for two tables outside the shop – at a cost of £150. Under the new proposals that price will rise to £250.

“It’s gone from nothing to have tables outside, to £150 for two tables, now it’s going up for next year, then what?” said a furious Mandi Pigeon. “How can we afford this?”

Penarth Times:

Stuart Burnell owns Awesome Wales café on Barry's Holton Road. He has two tables outside his shop and explained elderly customers visit every day because they want something to do and they smoke so they want to sit outside.

When this charge comes in Stuart says they won’t be able to do that because he might not be able to afford the tables and chairs anymore.

Stuart was at a loss, saying traders on the street do not understand why the council are doing this.

“They are charging the equivalent of Cardiff city centre,” said Stuart. “Barry is not Cardiff no matter how much they want it to be.”

Penarth Times:

(Stuart at cafe Awesome Wales places two tables outside on Holton Road)

Penarth Times:

(Owners Mandi (left) and Kara say independent businesses need more support)

Earlier in the week Local Democracy Reporter Ted Peskett spoke to Gareth Saunders, a chef at the K9 Plus 1 Cafe on Friars Road, Barry, who feared for the future of his job because of the proposed changes.

“Rather than helping them out, they are crippling us with increasing costs,” said Gareth.

This sentiment was echoed by Kara Bennett back at The Well Being Shop.

She said Barry will die if businesses don’t get the support they need.

“It does not affect big businesses, it affects the little businesses – the ones they want on the high street, independent businesses,” said Kara.

“We’re the ones who will bring people to the town. To the council I say support us otherwise there will be nothing left.”