Advertising board crackdown in Cheltenham town centre given the go ahead
TRADERS who clutter the streets with unlicensed advertising boards are facing a severe crackdown on breaking the rules.
Enforcement is due to be stepped up on illegal A-boards after Cheltenham Borough Council agreed to a new water tight policy as part of a bid to clear up the town.
It has been estimated that there are currently more than 100 unlicensed boards, and critics believe they pose a hazard to shoppers who could trip over.
As a result, every licensed A-board will have to display a consent badge under the new policy, which will show a unique registration number, the agreed location for the board, agreed size and expiry date.
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The council is hoping the new badges will make it easier to identify traders who are operating outside the law.
And anyone found to be bending the rules will be targeted by the authority's licensing enforcement team.
Councillor Peter Jeffries (LD, Springbank), cabinet member for housing and safety, has been instrumental in getting the new policy agreed.
He said: "This new policy will assist applicants and it will also assist the council in properly using its powers in relation to these things.
"All of these activities have an impact on how our town looks and feels."
Councillor Jacky Fletcher (C, Benhall and The Reddings), said the council's enforcement of the new policy had to be "sound and robust and not hit and miss".
The A-board issue has been a long-running headache for many traders, particularly those based "off the beaten track" who rely on the advertisements to drive footfall.
Allan Taylor, the owner of Grosvenor Butchers in Grosvenor Terrace just off the High Street, shares his licensed A-board with three other businesses to avoid clutter.
He said: "At one point we had six A-boards in a row here. I believe that the badge on the A-board is a good idea. If you are in the High Street, why do you need an A-board; everyone can see your shop when they go by? It is the ones off the beaten track that need A-boards."
The rules will come into force on April 1 this year.