25 | Feb | 15

Richard Johnson

Scouse Nous

Liverpool. Home to the greatest football team in the world. And the Beatles. Plus — I’m sad to say — an anachronistic approach to food in public places. There is no street food scene in Liverpool. Not really. And here’s why. What little there is (an old-school chip van and a greasy kebab trailer) was virtually killed off by a 300% rise in the cost of night trading permits a few years back. Small-timers couldn’t afford the £1,092 for a night-time licence, coupled with the £2,360 for a day-time licence. In such a forward thinking city, with inspiring spaces like Camp And Furnace, the new generation of street food traders (we loved working with Meet Frank on the British Street Food roadshow this winter) is being forced to trade elsewhere. Ridiculous. Liverpool has one of the best farmers’ market in the country. Fact. The Wirral Farmers’ Market was awarded the Best UK Farmers’ Market Award by the BBC Radio 4 The Food Programme and the BURA – British Urban Regeneration Award – Charitable Trust Award for community regeneration. So there’s a real appetite for great food in the city. And the food influences are as wide as you like. Liverpool is home to the oldest Black African community in the country – and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. By working with established city restaurants (such as Quynny’s for exciting Afro-Caribbean, and Chung Ku for Chinese), traders could help build a street food scene that really reflects Liverpool’s multiculturalism. But the council need to pull their fingers out first. And learn what being a modern, boulevarding city is really all about.