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Traders' anger over board notices

A COUNCIL'S sandwich board clampdown has angered traders in a North Yorkshire market town.

Notices declaring that use of the boards is illegal were stuck on signs advertising shops in Richmond this week.

The notices were issued by North Yorkshire County Council.

Staff from Erica Dillon clothes shop, in the Market Place, found a notice on their board.

Shop manager Nicola Smith said: "Without the boards, even local people who know me can't find the shop, so I haven't got much hope with tourists.

"The board is in a safe place; only drunks and thick people would fall over it.

"The council might have let me know personally. It was embarrassing. Customers might see the board with the word illegal on it and think we've done something serious.

"I wish instead of finding fault, they'd do something positive to help us."

Chris Pugh, from Sip coffee shop, in King Street, is also angry the council has issued the notices without discussing the boards with traders.

He said: "In a place like Richmond where we rely on seasonal trade, a sandwich board in a prominent place is vital.

"I'm not reliant on it, but some days it's the difference between breaking even and making a profit.

"They're quite within their rights to clear them all off, but if they don't want them to stay they have to find some other way of publicising us."

Fiona Black, manager of Evolution hairdressers, in King Street, said: "It's a huge struggle in a town like this running a small business.

"They should just let us get on with it."

In response, David Bowe, assistant director of highways at the council, said: "The placing of stickers on A-boards causing an obstruction to a public highway is an approved county council procedure that has been in place for a number of years.

"The removable adhesive stickers clearly lay out the relevant highways law to the owner of the sign, and warn of the repercussions if the law is continually flouted.

"Footways are there for free pedestrian movement, not for advertising, and we must consider their users, particularly disabled and visually-impaired people."

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