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PADA chairman Costas Kleanthous, who is expecting revised proposals from Kensington and Chelsea Council this week, was hopeful of a breakthrough in the dealers’ fight against the introduction of trade licences for those with stalls on private forecourts in Portobello Road and Westbourne Grove.

The two roads have been exempt from such licences under local rules, but new senior council officers have been pressing for that exemption to be reversed, a move that many fear would damage trade at Portobello.

Since holding a meeting and market walkabout with the council on Monday last week, Mr Kleanthous struck a more positive note, telling the Gazette that the association had clearly impressed the council with their knowledge of local government regulations and there had been a “pulling back” on the council’s part from their earlier position.

PADA have also made positive moves to back the council’s attempts at improving access and safety in Portobello by clearing the roads and pavements of illegal pitches, with Mr Kleanthous addressing members on the issue in the latest association newsletter out this week.