KENDAL traders face potential legal action from South Lakeland District Council if they continue to ignore controversial A-board rules.
The council’s planning committee agreed to send a final warning to 19 businesses who have repeatedly flouted the code of conduct – and said legal action would follow, bringing fines of up to £2,500, if they did not fall in line within 28 days. The code governs where signs can be placed, their size and how many.
But traders who operate from the many tucked-away yards in Kendal say they need to advertise with A-boards or risk losing customers.
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“People get to the bottom of Finkle Street and think: ‘There’s nothing else there’ and turn round and go back up,” said James Slater, owner of Joshua Tree, who is now allowed to display just one board, which must be in the yard itself.
The action was given the green light by councillors after a survey on June 30 found several businesses in violation of the rules.
The code of conduct was formally adopted earlier this year, after a 12-month trial period, but officers have since received complaints from traders, members of the public and the Sight Advice Centre Kendal, stating that A-boards have caused issues – including causing one elderly lady to trip and sustain injuries.
“It’s a difficult one, because I’ve had businesses and I’ve had A-boards,” said Coun Brian Cooper, who said he was also ‘disappointed’ that businesses were still failing to follow the rules.
“Sometimes it has to come down to enforcement,” he added.
Coun Sylvia Emmott said: “We have had complaints from the community that some boards are still ill-thought out and ill-positioned.”
The code now covers Kirkland from the Parish Hall to Highgate, Allhallows Lane to the bottom of Beast Banks, Stricklandgate, Wildman Street, Finkle Street, Kent Street, New Road, Lowther Street and Sandes Avenue, among others.
The final warning letters will be sent out this week, allowing 28 days before prosecution proceedings could begin.