A five-year-old girl was left in tears after council officers for Tower Hamlets shut down her lemonade stand issued her and her father with a fine.
Andre Spicer and his daughter were selling lemonade to people on their way to Lovebox festival in east London’s Victoria Park last weekend (July 16), which was headlined by Frank Ocean and Chase & Status.
The pair had erected the stall near their home in Mile End and were selling a small glass of the drink for 50p or a large glass for £1.
Half an hour after they set up, four enforcement officers arrived at the stand to shut them down. Spicer said his daughter burst into tears and told him “I’ve done a bad thing” after the officers had read out a legal letter and issued them with a £150 fine, as the Evening Standard reports.
Tower Hamlets council has now promised to cancel the fine and said it will contact the Spicer family to apologise.
A spokesman told the Standard: “We are very sorry that this has happened. We expect our enforcement officers to show common sense, and to use their powers sensibly. This clearly did not happen.
“The fine will be cancelled immediately and we will be contacting Professor Spicer and his daughter to apologise.”
Mr Spicer said his daughter was left “very upset” by the experience. “It’s not like she was trying to make a massive profit, this is just a five-year-old kid trying to sell lemonade,” he said. “She sobbed all the way home and was telling me: ‘Dad, I’ve done a bad thing’. She was very upset because she was proud of selling it, and this really soured the experience.”
He continued: “Things like this are common in America… When I shared our experience with my cousin who lives in Chicago, he told me this would be a national scandal.”
He added that he had told his daughter they could set up another stall once they had a permit, but she replied: “No, it’s too scary.” Spicer said when he told colleagues about the incident, one said it was an example of how “we are discouraging budding female entrepreneurs.”