Ice cream wars threat whips up some concern in Milton Keynes

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A ‘cold war’ set to break out over two ice cream vans trading in the same street, has been nipped in the bud by the council.

Rivalry between MK Ices and MSJ Ice Cream Services was whipping up concern from residents in Broughton’s Watercress Way.

The two side-by-side sellers had even been witnessed having a “dispute” last summer.

The problem stemmed from the fact that MK Ices had street trading consent for the pitch but MSJ had no such permit.

Last week the council’s regulatory sub committee were asked to consider MSJ’s application to trade in the street for 40 minutes every weekday afternoon .

“The issue is two ice cream vans wanting to trade in the same location at the same time,” said officers in their report.

“Concerns were raised about the ice cream vans operating in the area in June 2016 in relation to a dispute they were having while trading,” the report added.

There had also been a complaint from residents about the noise nuisance of chimes from two different vans at the same time. Meanwhile, MK Ices boss, Mr Martuccio, protested that there was not enough trade for two vans, while MSJ boss, Mr Singh, insisted he’d been at the spot first – for five years.

Councillors decided to grant MSJ permission, but committee chairman Catriona Morris, left, warned the two businesses must “trade nicely”. She said: “We believe in fair trade for these two vans. However, the council will review the street trading conditions regularly and if there are any problems we will intervene.”

Both the rival vans are only allowed to trade for 40 minutes, between 14.45pm and 15.25pm, on Monday to Friday each week, according to their licences.

No ice cream vans are allowed to trade within 50 metres of a school during school hours. This rule also applies to trading outside hospitals and churches.