Larne Borough Council has sought to reassure a local man that he does not require a street trading licence to carry out his fundraising activities in the town centre.
Raymond Anderson is well-known in the town for his charitable work, having provided entertainment outside shops on Main Street for many years and collected money for an array of good causes.
But the 65-year-old told the Larne Times of his shock at learning he may need to acquire a street trading licence to continue singing and playing music in the town centre.
A bewildered Raymond said: “I went down the street to do my annual collection for the Children’s Hospice just before Christmas, only to hear that I would need a licence from Larne Council, costing £90.
“There was no way I was going to pay that, as all the money I collect is for charity. The people of Larne are very generous and I would usually collect over £100 each time I perform.
“People have been asking me why they have not seen me out performing on Main Street recently, and when I tell them why, they all agree that I shouldn’t need a licence for what I do. It is only a bit of craic and banter and doesn’t hurt anyone. The charities are the ones losing out because of this, and it is not right.”
The Times contacted Larne Council for clarification on the issue, and the local authority has moved to set the
A spokeswoman said: “Mr Anderson came into the council offices to enquire about street trading licences, as he had been advised by a business in the town that he may need one.
“The officer who he spoke to advised him that he did not require a street trading licence but that he should check with the PSNI in relation to any rules around street performing and charity collections.
“The council officer has checked the legislation and it is clear that Mr Anderson would not need a street trading licence.”