LEGAL advice is being sought by Settle Town Council after a Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream van continued to trade on the council-owned car park by the town hall.

Town council chairman Cllr Dan Balsamini said: “The Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream van has been trading on Settle Market place intermittently for the past month or so without council permission.

The Market Place is the property of Settle Town Council and they are not only infringing our rights as the landowner but may also be contravening our market charter. They are also breaching the parking order we put in place on the Market Place to stop people parking all day.

“We have asked them politely to cease trading on numerous occasions however they have refused and therefore we have contacted our solicitors. Their actions show a clear lack of respect for not only Settle Town Council but the people of Settle who we represent.”

In a response by letter to the town council, Gary Rogers, of Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream said he had approached the council to offer a fee for trading on the Market Square.

This has been acknowledged by the council who said the company was told it could trade only on Tuesdays by renting a market stall.

He said: "Before attempting any sales we purposefully contacted Settle Town Council to offer a fee for trading on the market square.

"As a business we make no apologies for seeking to expand and this season we identified Settle as a good sport for a few reasons. One particular reason is that we, for a number of years, supplied our ice cream to the Tuck Shop on the corner of the square.

"Sadly, as you will know, this business no longer trades, leaving Settle without any Yorkshire made ice cream (of any brand).

"A Yorkshire tourist village (sic) without a Yorkshire made ice cream surely doesn't make sense to anyone.

"So, selling Yorkshire Dales ice cream made at our farm near to Skipton with fresh milk and cream from Dales farmers within the Settle square was a natural fit for us."

He added he believed 'people simply prefer to buy an ice cream from an ice cream van and most particularly when it is a smart, clean, well maintained unit, serving quality products from a courteous server'.

Mr Rogers continued: “We know of no laws we are breaking in continuing to operate an ice cream van as we are currently. We are disappointed the town council had not taken up our offer to pay for a licence.” He added he donates 10 per cent of the ice cream sales to the Friends of Settle Swimming Pool.

Members of the town council voted to continue seeking legal advice and would bring back a report to the next meeting.