Council's 'petty' raid on A-boards
PUBLISHED: 11:00 20 January 2012
WESTON business owners have hit out at North Somerset Council for removing A-boards - a move they believe is 'grinding them into the ground.'
A total of 22 shops and restaurants have had their A-boards confiscated from outside their premises and owners believe this is having a significant impact on business.
Steve Williams, owner of The Grove Bistro, in West Street, said he had two A-boards removed this week.
He said: “I thought the A-boards had been stolen so I called the police. I then contacted the council and found out I have to pay £50 to get them back.
“My biggest form of advertising is the front of my property. We are struggling at the moment and the council is not helping.
“They should be helping businesses, not trying to grind them into the ground.”
Mr Williams said he will not pay to get his property back and intends to put up a new board.
He said: “I’m angry because it is so petty. It’s something I do not need when I’m trying to run a business and trying to attract as many people as possible.”
Another businessman, Chris Gleed, owns a Formula One merchandise store in Waterloo Street called H20 and has experienced the same problem more than once.
Mr Gleed said he had two A-boards attached to two trees outside his property because it is often blocked by a loading bay.
He said: “Even though my signs are attached to trees, I was still told this is an obstruction to the highway. When I had the signs taken down before Christmas our takings went down by about 80 per cent.
“Business is desperately hard at the moment and I think there has already been a drop in my business since the signs were removed last week.
“I need to be seen and all I want is an equal chance. I do not expect the local authority to help my business but do they want to see us go under?”
A spokesman from North Somerset Council said: “Businesses in Weston were sent letters in December reminding them of the policy and the Grove Bistro had a letter hand delivered together with a copy of the policy on December 6 and the policy was explained to them.
“An A-board was seized from outside the Grove Bistro as it was obstructing the pavement. A total of 22 boards have been seized from outside businesses premises around the town centre.”