Shropshire Council to review policy for high street A-Boards

At the end of last year, Shropshire Council came up with proposals to strictly control the way businesses place A-Boards outside their premises and sometimes much further away. A minority of A-Boards are placed carelessly and are an impediment to the partially sighted and mobility impaired. The council proposals were rejected as over the top by the Place Overview committee.

Now Shropshire Council is asking town and parish councils their views. I am surprised that it is not also asking traders but I would suggest that any traders with concerns should respond either to their local council or directly to Shropshire Council. Details are in the briefing note below.

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Councillors reject charges for A-Boards and call for local enforcement of pavement hazards

Shropshire Council has been flirting with plans to licence every A-Board in the county. Those ideas didn’t get through the Place Overview Committee yesterday. Everyone agreed that a licencing and charging scheme was the wrong approach. Instead, the committee asked officers to work with local councillors and communities to draw up clearer guidance on where A-Boards can be placed to ensure safety of pavement users, including those with limited mobility and visual impairment.

We agreed it would more effective for responsibility for “policing” of A-Boards should be devolved from Shropshire Council to town councils.

This is good news. Shropshire Council should not overregulate and we should manage the day-to-day business of the town ourselves.

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Ludlow is a town of one hundred A-Boards – should we make retailers pay for using the pavement like Liverpool?

A-Boards can be a hazard to the blind and partially sighted. They can be a problem for families with child buggies. But they are also essential for local businesses, many of which are on side alleys or not immediately in sight.

For the best part of a decade, we have endured a debate between “Love A-Boards” and “Hate A-Boards” in Ludlow. That debate could be moving towards an end after a Shropshire Council meeting next Friday.

I walked around the town centre yesterday and counted 98 A-Boards – 74 were on the public highway and 24 on private land. The debate is now on whether this is right for our town. The urgency of the debate is driven by Shropshire Council’s wish to regulate all A-Boards in the county and to charge retailers for the privilege of putting the signs on the highway. What the council is proposing comes across as overregulation.

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