Mr Whippy ban ‘not a helpful contribution’ to climate debate, says cabinet

Sheffield City Council’s cabinet member for transport has hit out at the opposition’s suggestion to ban Mr Whippy machines to help reduce air pollution.

By Molly Williams
Wednesday, 12 June, 2019, 13:28
Ice cream

Coun Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport and development, defended ice cream sellers saying they should not be targeted. 

He said: “It is not council policy and is not something we are looking at.

“Improving air quality in the city is one of our top priorities. However, this arbitrary suggestion to ban ice cream vans and single them out in isolation of all the other causes of poor air quality trivialises the very issue, and is not a helpful contribution to this debate.”

It comes after Coun Douglas Johnson, representative for City ward and speaker for the Green Party, called for a ban on ice cream vans running their engines while parked.

Mr Whippy vendors need to have the engine constantly running to power freezers and the soft ice cream machines which whip up the popular 99 flake.

With the proposed change, ice cream sellers would have two options – to either upgrade their vans to ultra-low emitting vehicles or only use scooped ice cream.

Coun Johnson said they had put forward the proposal to the council’s licensing department.

He added: “If people are serious about air pollution this is an ideal opportunity to reduce it as the council approves licenses for ice cream vendors.

“There is only a small amount of ice cream vans in comparison to cars so it would make a small difference to overall air pollution but a big difference to parks packed out with children and families. No one wants to sit in a park with the fumes and the noise of an engine.

“This would help to tackle air pollution and we can still enjoy ice cream.”