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City of York Council call for a city-wide A-board ban
A COUNCIL scrutiny group is to recommend to city leaders that a proposed ban on advertising A-boards in the centre of York should ultimately be extended to other areas.
City of York Council is set to create a “zero-tolerance” zone for city-centre boards after a recent check found 150 which were causing obstructions, with officers saying they were also hindering efforts to reduce street clutter.
Businesses which use the boards to advertise have criticised the plans, saying it will affect their efforts to cope with the recession.
The move comes four years after the council dropped plans to fine traders for using A-boards, instead telling them they were unlikely to face action as long as the boards were propped against buildings.
The council’s community safety overview and scrutiny committee last night agreed to support a blanket ban in the centre. But it said this should eventually become a city-wide rule because of problems in other areas, such as Clifton Green, although the vote was split.
Clifton councillor and committee chair Helen Douglas said: “I realise that when businesses are struggling they need to advertise, but I don’t see why anybody should be forced to walk around them – it’s not just a city-centre issue and I think the same rules should apply everywhere.”
Coun Ken King, who also represents Clifton, said: “A-boards cause inconvenience for disabled people and those with sight problems and we should have a blanket ban, because there are numerous other ways for businesses to advertise.”
But Rural West York councillor Chris Steward told the meeting: “I don’t have a problem with a blanket ban on dangerous boards, but zero tolerance for all boards would be a big mistake when times are tough for businesses.”
Council officials said a blanket rule for the city centre was designed to avoid businesses claiming they had been discriminated against if they were told to remove their A-boards while others remained, and there were fewer complaints in other areas of York.
They said city-centre traders would be sent letters asking them to remove boards, otherwise the council would take them away – but also said the authority did not have the resources to immediately implement a York-wide ban.