21 February 2014 11:26

Municipalities will be able to issue on-the-spot fines of €85 to owners or operators of shops, cafeterias or restaurants who place chairs, tables or other objects on pavements without permission.
If they fail to comply, municipalities will be able to remove them and if they are not picked up, the chairs and tables will be either thrown away or sold to cover the cost of moving them.
This is contained in two draft bills submitted by Disy MP Nicos Nouris which appear to enjoy the support of other parties as well as of the ministries of interior, communications, the police and the fire brigade.
The Union of Municipalities and the Technical Chamber also back the proposal.
The bills aim to bring order to outdoor catering in view of the uncontrolled placing of tables and chairs in a way which obstructs pedestrians, the disabled, emergency vehicles and refuse trucks, said an explanatory report accompanying the bill.
Nouris said outdoor eating generated business and helped rejuvenate town areas. But he said the uncontrolled spread of tables and chairs could lead to negative repercussions, for example in the event of a fire.
Municipal traffic wardens would be authorised to issue an out of court fine of €85 to whoever breaks the law. They can also issue a written warning instructing owners to remove any object that is in the way within an hour. If he fails to do so, the warden can remove the object in question. These will be taken to a municipal storage area to be picked up within three weeks by the owner who must pay for the removal cost.
If owners fail to do so they will be thrown away or auctioned.
The Interior Ministry agreed with the proposal but suggested that in order to avoid the issue of a lease, rather than a permit to use the pavements, applicants should be issued written permission.
The Communications Ministry said the issue had been regulated on Ledra and Onasagorou streets and the bills would resolve similar problems in other municipalities.


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