Kenilworth business asked to remove or relocate A-board display

A Kenilworth business owner plans to appeal a ruling given to him by the county council telling him to remove or move the A-board sign for his  business.

Monday, 3rd June 2019, 3:00 pm
A-board display in front of the Tech Point business at the Kenilworth town centre

Paul Barfoot, the owner of Tech Point, recently received a letter from Warwickshire County Council telling him his A-board sign was not in compliance with its code of practice.

Mr Barfoot contests the decision and is seeking a way to appeal the county’s ruling. If he doesn’t comply with the letter within 14 days he could have the sign confiscated.

Mr Barfoot said: “I have had a small A-board type sign outside my premises for all of my nine years in business, alerting any potential passing customers to my business, and during this time the A-board has not been an issue to anyone.”

A Warwickshire County Council spokesperson said the following about A-board displays: "A-boards and the display of goods on highway pavements are traditional ways for businesses to promote and display their goods in and around the town centres of Warwickshire, often adding to the amenity and atmosphere of the street scene.

"The County Council recognises that some traders wish to use this means to promote their business activities, but it must be in a way that both enhances the street scene and is sensitive to the needs of its users.

"The County Council wants to work with businesses and the community to achieve a sensible and practical solution for the use of advertising signs and will always ensure that shop keepers are warned if the placement of signs outside their businesses cause any concerns.

"This will vary from location to location, it is important that the number, size and positioning of items on the pavement are regulated to ensure that they do not become unreasonable and cause difficulties for pedestrians, particularly those with impaired vision or mobility problems, the elderly or those with young children."

Mr Barfoot added: “I setup Techpoint in 2010 and have been operating for 9 years now. Over the years trading has become more and more difficult, with more people leaving the high street in favour of online shopping, foot fall on high streets around the country is in decline.

Mr Barfoot said the letter he received from the county council included a picture taken by a council officer showing his A-board and it location.

Mr Barfoot added: "In my opinion it did not demonstrate an excessive obstruction to pedestrians, with a pedestrian clearly seen in the photo itself easily walking past the A board. In fact I estimate six people could walk side by side and still clear it without it being any obstruction whatsoever.

"Trading is becoming more and more difficult, costs are rising, revenues are dropping. This is our only free source of advertising available and helps draw attention and so draws business in to us. If we are being micro managed on A-boards that are not obstructing anyone, and trying to stop one of our only means of free advertising, this will negatively impact the business. If our business fails, the thousands of pounds I pay in tax each month to the government will stop, my employee will be made redundant, and another shop will stand empty."

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