Charges for boards will be a ‘nail in the coffin’ for Elm Park
- Credit: Archant
Shopkeepers have hit out against council plans to introduce fees for items placed on pavements.
Residents and traders say that the proposals will be a “nail in the coffin for Elm Park”.
Ingrid Brandon, chairman of the Elm Park Regeneration Group, said: “This is going to tip many small businesses over.
“A lot of them are already struggling and this is not going to help them.”
The criticism came as the Recorder’s Shop Local campaign to boost local firms arrived in Elm Park.
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The council is currently consulting on the plans, which will see shopkeepers being forced to pay for advertising boards and tables and chairs outside their premises.
Residents also fear that they will have to pay out for community events such as the Elm Park Fiesta, held every June.
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The council says the plans will stop streets being cluttered and avoid trip hazards, but Ingrid argues that it is just a way of making money.
She said: “This hasn’t got anything to do with clearing the streets. They are looking at it as a way of bringing in extra revenue.
“We are all for change but it has to be positive. This is just not good.”
Cllr Geoff Starns, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “We are seeking the views of businesses and residents about the use of A-boards and other items such as tables and chairs on our high streets.
“The consultation is still ongoing and no decisions will be made until it ends.”