When Lambeth Council invoked an ancient by-law to draft a set of extortionate charges for café owners and businesses to use their privately owned pavement for tables and chairs, Clare went into action. Many business owners were worried these new charges would literally put them out of a livelihood and force some shops to close. Among those in the vanguard of the protest was Tea West at the Rosendale Road shopping parade and Kahvah in West Norwood but the protest then spread borough wide.
Within days of Clare making a strong set of representations to the council the proposed charges were withdrawn and the Labour Cabinet Member announced a “review” of the proposals.
At the November Council meeting Clare presented a petition against the “Pavement Tax” signed by hundreds of local people including customers of the Rosendale Road shops. She says: “Hopefully Lambeth Council will see sense and leave well alone. The irony is that the administration claims to support small businesses – the reverse is often the case.”