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Shops landed with £100-a-year fee for A-boards

New licence isn't a cash cow, insists council

Published on July 24th 2012.

Shops landed with £100-a-year fee for A-boards

SHOPS and restaurants in Liverpool will have to stump up to £100 a year if they want to carry on putting A-boards outside their premises.

The growing proliferation of the advertising boards has led to hazards for pedestrians, claims Liverpool City Council, and from September businesses will be required to obtain a licence, costing £100, if they want to carry on using them. 

The council says that the popularity of A-Boards has seen “hundreds out on the streets at any one time”. 

Up until now, it added, they have been put out without permission or any guidance about where they can be used safely, and have often appeared in locations which caused difficulties for disabled people and people using pushchairs.

Now, it is to allow businesses to put out A-boards, providing they have obtained permission, while ensuring that the pavements are accessible to all pedestrians.

The council says the annual fee for this - £50 plus another £50 if you are using council land - will be used to "recoup the costs of managing the process" with Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration and transport, commenting: “Where else could they get advertising for that amount?"

He added: “We recognise that A-boards are a major form of advertising for many firms, especially small and independent businesses, and we want to support businesses of all types. 

 “But, on the other hand we have to look at the needs of blind and other disabled people and parents pushing children in buggies for whom the boards can be a real hazard.”

One week to go...While we're on the subject, just one week left to buy Bill Drummond's book from News From Nowhere

Mandy de Vere, from News From Nowhere on Bold Street, said that the new rules, which come into force in September, would not apply to the bookshop as its own A-Board sits on the tiling area outside which is within its own premises.

She said: “Of course it makes perfect sense to have regulations about where A-Boards can and can't be placed, especially if they are going to be hazardous to blind people, for example.

"But I can't help but think that there is an element of cynical money-making at work, here.”


However, Cllr Kennedy insisted: This is not a money-making venture for the council, all the proceeds will allow us to manage the scheme properly. The alternative is to go back to the situation where we just took the boards off the streets and nobody wants to return to those days.”

Meanwhile, Ged Gibbons, Chief Executive of City Central BID, which represents more than 630 businesses in the retail heart of Liverpool city centre, said: ‘’Many businesses will welcome this new, common sense approach to A-boards on our city centre streets.

"These are hard economic times and anything that can support businesses to promote their product to the public has to be welcomed. With footfall so high in the city centre, any form of advertising will be of benefit especially at such an inexpensive rate.

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJuly 24th 2012.

Am I missing something here. If A boards on pavements are a potential danger, how come stumping up £100 suddenly makes them less hazardous. Just wondered, that's all.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Absinthe & TurksJuly 25th 2012.

Exactly. If there's no room, there's no room whether or not the trader coughs up the £100.

Unless of course the Council planners are going to use their crazy pavement-widening service to shopkeepers.

AnonymousAugust 1st 2012.

OR they will refuse permision (and probably pocket the £50)

Liverpool WagJuly 24th 2012.

Precisely the point Anon

AnonymousJuly 24th 2012.

OMG, thought the busker-hater would be in the middle of this. Those BID people have declared war on the city centre. Why don't we just pay them to stay at home so they don't do any more harm.

AnonymousJuly 24th 2012.

Busker haters surely, they were in the vast majority chum!

Georgina OwenJuly 27th 2012.

I don't think the BID team should be blamed, this is the Mayor & co wanting to make a quick few bob; Anonymous is right, but as usual in Liverpool the media pander to Anderson otherwise he'll threaten to remove the Council advertising revenue from Trinity! This is bureacracy gone mad, not a business friendly city in action.

AnonymousAugust 1st 2012.

Is the Council also going to ask shops to apply for planning consent - that will add months to the approval process

AnonymousAugust 1st 2012.

Firstly if this is not money making then why the extra £50 for a board on council land? the money making is so bleeding obvious I'm insulted that they are even bothering to lie to us about it, just how much contempt can you show for your electorate?

Secondly before he opened his gob it would have been nice if Ged Gibbons, had bothered to find out that currently A boards (that great form of advertising) are FREE - I'm sure a keen business mind like Ged's would quickly have realised that Free is an infinately more inexpensive rate than £100.

bunch of chancersAugust 3rd 2012.

They are fools at BID if they think people can't see through this ridiculous and completely cynical money making opportunity

RojeansAugust 10th 2012.

A boards are there to help generate income, income that the council takes part of in the form of rates FFS

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