Traders are furious after a council official ordered them to remove signs pointing customers to their businesses.And the reason for this bizarre decision?
Bosses at the Cowdray Centre were threatened with heavy fines by Colchester Council staff who told them to take down advertising boards at the entrance to the complex.
Part of the centre was gutted by a blaze in July 2006 and has since been torn down.Ah. Right. So a bloody great fence is attractive, as is the demolished rubble behind it. But signage pointing the way to actual businesses, where people may wish to buy good and services and thus enrich the town of Colchester, is verboten?
Surviving companies say their signs on the fencing surrounding the demolished section are vital to let customers know they are still up and running.
But the council worker told them the boards would have to go as part of a drive to clean up the town.
Well, I suppose we shouldn’t expect too much sense for a town which elected the likes of Sonia Lewis as Mayor…
Geoff Boston, of MOT-a-Car, said: “The whole idea behind the signs was that after the fire, we had loads of calls from customers wanting to know if we were still here.Ah, but the council clearly think everything’s their business:
“This is a private road anyway, so I don’t think it is any of the council’s business what signs we have up.”
There is an officially-sanctioned signboard on the opposite side of the road.An ‘officially-sanctioned signboard’…
Doesn’t that just say it all?
As usual in these local stories, the comments prove illuminating far beyond the actual story.
Muppet_monk, Colchester says...Hmmm, little Hitlers throwing their weight around, but unable to give a straight answer when challenged as to their powers to do so?
As one of the businesson the Cowdray centre, I can assure we were given full written permission by the site owners to put up signs directing customers to our premises. As mentioned in the article, the signs are on PRIVATE LAND on a private road only for busnisses on this estate. The board that is up and that has been mentioned in one comment earlier, also as mentioned in the article, it is often blocked by queuing traffic and people are unable to see them and there is not enough spaces for all the business!
We are more upset about the way in which we were all spoken to, storming in, threatening us with a £2500 fine not a £1000 as stated. One of the people that came round also has a job in the planning department, and he stated that we'd have to pay for this, now to me, this sounds like a conflict of interest!! Also, when we asked which legislation and law we were breaking, and they could not state what the law was, they just kept repeating, "it's breaking the law" but not telling us exactly which one.
I do get annoyed with people commenting with out knowing ALL the facts!
Now, where have I heard that before?