THE chimes of ice cream vans will ring out on a borough’s streets again this morning for the Bank Holiday weekend after a council U-turn.

Vendors have been allowed back on the roads of Blackburn with Darwen after environment boss Cllr Jim Smith reversed a ban on their trading.

His decision is a victory for Mohammed Mulla - who operates Mr Whippy - who has been calling for the council to give the vans the green light for a month.

The 49-year-old from Little Harwood objected to the council attempting to discourage the vendors from trading due to the coronavirus lockdown.

On May 5 Cllr Smith officially banned the vans from the streets with the threat of a £1,000 fine.

Now, just three weeks later and days after the council refunded part of the operators’ licence fees, he has changed his mind.

Mr Mulla said: “I am very pleased. They have dithered for weeks over this but finally we have a victory for common sense.

“Thankfully we shall be out selling ice creams. My customers will be delighted at this council U-turn.”

Cllr Smith said: “We have reviewed our stance on ice cream vans trading in light of the evolving coronavirus situation, and the changes in the government’s guidance.

“We have had to balance the human rights of the ice cream traders against the need to protect the community, and we do believe that we will have helped prevent the unnecessary spread of the disease during the ban. However, the situation has changed, and we believe that ice cream vans trading under strict conditions is acceptable.

“Ice cream traders will need to do a risk assessment before they can trade. If social distancing among customers can’t be maintained, they must stop selling and move on.”

Conservative group leader Cllr Paul Marrow welcomed the U-turn.