A 5-year-old girl was reportedly selling lemonade to people who were heading to a festival in east London when her stand shut down by council officers who slapped her and her father with a £150 fine.
Andre Spicer said his daughter burst into tears and told him “I’ve done a bad thing” after enforcement officers read out a lengthy legal letter before issuing them the notice.
The 5-year-old and Mr. Spicer, a professor at City University, were given the fine for “trading without a permit” after they set up the make-shift stall near their home in Mile End.
Tower Hamlets Council promised to cancel the fine “immediately” and said it would contact the family to apologize after they were contacted by several news station.
A spokesman for the council said it expected its enforcement officers “to show common sense” when using their powers.
Mr. Spicer said the officers’ decision an “over-zealous way of applying the rules,” after the pair set out to refresh festival goers heading to Lovebox in Victoria Park on Saturday.
“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.”
“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.”
A spokeswoman for the local authority said:
“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.”
Stars like Frank Ocean and Solange Knowles and DJs Chase and Status and Annie Mac were among the stars performing at the Lovebox dance festival at the weekend.