AN ice cream vendor’s hopes of keeping his licence melted away after he was discovered parking on double yellow lines outside a school.

Ice cream van owner Shakeel Iqbal will have his licence revoked by Oxford City Council following a meeting on Monday.

The council had received complaints about one of his ice cream vans being parked on double yellow lines outside a school as children left for the day.

Two men working on his snack-dispensing vans were also found to be unregistered workers.

Mr Iqbal told the committee he had tried to follow the rules after being given warnings by the council but added the ice cream business in Oxford was highly competitive and other vendors often intruded on his pitch.

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Oxford City Council’s General Purposes Licensing Casework Sub-Committee met on Monday night to discuss how Mr Iqbal should be punished for the breaches of his licence.

Council officer Samantha Broome read a report out to the three subcommittee members, describing what had led the vendor to appear there.

Mr Iqbal owns two ice cream vans which are licensed to travel around areas of the city including Littlemore, Botley Road, Marston, Summertown and Rose Hill.

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Ice cream.

On July 15 last year, one of his van drivers was involved in what a council report described as an ‘incident’ involving the police.

Thames Valley Police took no further action following the incident, apart from contacting the city council to let them know the employee was not registered on the van.

Registering employees to work on ice cream vans is a condition of having a licence.

Then on August 3, a member of the public complained about the behaviour of a member of staff on Mr Iqbal’s other van, while he was trading on Walton Well Road.

The council investigated and found he was also an unregistered worker.

On September 5, a parent picking up their child from Rye St Anthony School complained to the council that Mr Iqbal was parked on double yellow lines on Franklin Road outside the school.

Mr Iqbal said: “In the ice-cream business everyone is trying to make money and outside the school, it is a busy period. This is one place where we make lots of money.

“We try our best to park away from the school as far as possible, but 70 per cent of all the way to the schools is double yellow lines.

“We are always inside the van and can move it straight away and we try to avoid being too near to the school.”

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But Ms Broome reminded Mr Iqbal he had not been in the van on one occasion when the council came to ask him to move.

Mr Iqbal said it was ‘his mistake’ for leaving a member of staff alone in the van while he went to get food.

He also told the councillors he had planned to register both workers after having trained them to work on the van, as workers often did not stick around long enough to make registration worth it.

Mr Iqbal said: “Sometimes, what happens when they come for training is they don’t like it, the ice cream job.”

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Ms Broome said parents were allowed to briefly stop on double yellow lines outside the school to collect their children, but Mr Iqbal had said his van had been there for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

She added: “With regards to employees it has always been the case that you have to submit the paperwork before the person starts to work on the van.”

The committee decided to suspend the licences for both of Mr Iqbal’s vans, which would have been valid until the end of March.

They took into account that Mr Iqbal had been given warnings for similar breaches and appeared before the subcommittee in 2018.

Chairman Colin Cook said: “We have decided to revoke both your licences and I am afraid we just cannot allow this sort of behaviour to happen related to the breaches.

“On that basis, we are revoking both your licences, I am sorry about that.”

The committee also heard that the city council's licensing rules for ice cream vendors are being updated as of the new financial year in April.

The changes will mean there will be new tests to make sure people working on vans selling food or market stalls are fit to work, or fit to hold a licence.