Companies lose trade after council clampdown

By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 21 February 2013 Updated: 21/02 17:27

Latest News

Buy photos » MP Karen Lumley joins business owners Alex Faulkner and Emma Sutor on Unicorn Hill. Picture by Marcus Mingins 0813020MMR.

AN ANGRY businesswoman has hit out at a council clampdown which has seen her lose most of her passing trade.

The Standard reported last month traders on Unicorn Hill had been told they risked a £2,500 fine if they continued putting advertising boards out on the pavement following a complaint to the borough council.

Now Vintage Loves owner Emma Sutor, who told the Standard she had seen a significant drop in new shoppers since the ruling, has asked Redditch MP Karen Lumley to step in and help.

She said: "I used to get many people coming in telling me they had seen the sign outside but hadn't previously known I was here, now that has completely dropped off. Businesses on the road struggle anyway as the whole area is in need of a revamp but now the boards aren't out it looks like all the shops are closed so fewer people are coming down to have a look.

"The whole thing has been a complete mess as there are still traders at the top of the hill being allowed to put out their boards. Everyone is very angry the council is not doing more to encourage us as independent traders."

Mrs Lumley said businesses should be encouraged to prosper in the current difficult trading conditions.

"I am disappointed the council is being inconsistent in its approach to various shops and I have noticed myself boards still up around the town centre," she said.

"I think we need to be a little more relaxed about it and find some innovative methods to encourage Unicorn Hill to be a thriving part of the town centre. I will be writing to the chief executive to ask him to revisit the issue."

Coun Rebecca Blake, responsible for community safety on the council, said she had listened to the problems the decision had caused businesses and asked officers to find a solution 'fair and proportionate to both the businesses involved and to the complainant'.

"The footpath is owned by Worcestershire County Council and so I hope Redditch and Worcestershire can work together to get the right result," she said.

"At a national level planning laws could be changed to make advertising easier for small business and more crucially the government should scrap their VAT increase, which is hurting retail business especially."

Share This

Popular »

1 Lack of response putting people off

2 Going the distance for Ben

3 Historic church up for sale

4 Campaign starts to save church

5 Outstanding school

More news »

Police base closures announced

A NUMBER of police bases are set to

Councillors turn down pay rise

COUNCILLORS have voted against proposals to increase their

Men deny attempting to steal diesel

POLICE found two 1,000 litre liquid containers and

Redditch HMV to close

REDDITCH's HMV store will close within the next

Regional news »

Bromsgrove Standard
Bromsgrove and Rubery bus services for Christmas and New Year

THERE are special timetables in place for the county's buses ...

Worcester Observer

Visit the Worcester Observer website for the latest.

Stratford Observer
Dog deaths M40 lorry driver jailed

A YOUNG woman was severely injured and four valuable show ...

Evesham Observer
When your bin will be collected this Christmas

WASTE collections across Evesham and Pershore will be done at ...