A SECOND council has set the cost of issuing licences for pubs, cafes and restaurants to set up tables and chairs on the pavement outside their premises at the maximum £100.

Ribble Valley Borough is now issuing permits for food and drink businesses without them to extend onto the footpath in front of them.

It is to charge the full £100 allowed by the government under new fast-track legislation like neighbouring Blackburn with Darwen.

Hyndburn Council is asking for £50 for a new pavement licence while Burnley has fixed the cost at £25.

Ribble Valley Council leader Stephen Atkinson said: “Councils across the country have been looking at how to best use town centre space, so that local hospitality businesses can reopen and accommodate social distancing.

“This will help hospitality businesses utilise outdoor space to bring a vibrant atmosphere to our town centres by providing drinking and dining outside their premises where appropriate.

“We welcome the creation of a clear legal basis for outdoor tables and chairs, which will help us quickly consider applications and apply relevant conditions, as well as reject applications or revoke licences if they cannot be managed safely or will cause detriment to residents.”

Cllr Allan Knox, leader of Ribble Valley Council's opposition Liberal Democrat group, said: "I welcome this move but I don't understand the flat fee. Surely larger businesses should pay more than smaller ones which should get a discount on the £100 cost."

The licences allow pubs with on-licences for alcohol to sell it for consumption outside.