A-board removal in Chichester is ‘total disgrace’

The A boards in East Street, Chichester
The A boards in East Street, Chichester

BUSINESSES said they have been left ‘high and dry’ by the council’s decision to remove A-boards from the city centre.

Chichester District Council sent out a letter to businesses, explaining it would enforce the removal of A-boards from the city centre on Tuesday (February 25) – but small businesses are already seeing the consequences.

Angela Harper, who owns Lane’s End Cafe in Jays Walk, off St Martin’s Street, said without her A-board on East Street, her takings have already seen a 50 per cent drop.

“We’ve been left high and dry with support and they still expect us to pay business rates,” she said. “It is a total, total disgrace.”

She said her A-board was integral to her business, as without it, people did not know the cafe was there.

“They were designed to take people to places they can’t see,” she said. “I will end up going out of business now.”

With side streets like St Martin’s Street and Crane Street using A-boards as the main form of advertising, some businesses have refused to take down their A-boards.

Justine Cockersell runs Crystals in Crane Street.

The shop is part of a chain, and the company has decided to keep the A-board out despite the enforcement letter– as the shop is at the end of a side street.

“The council should be working to support the uniqueness of the city with the smaller side streets,” she said.

She said the A-board was ‘key’ to the shop’s survival, especially as people who have visited other shops in the chain look out for the symbol – which is displayed on the A-board.

The consequences of putting A-boards out is not clear – Chichester District Council did say in its letter to businesses that it would remove any A-boards in the city centre, but no evidence of this has been seen yet.

A Chichester District Council spokeswoman said: “We understand that businesses need to promote themselves, and we want to work with them to look for the most appropriate solution for their location.

“We also need to balance the need to protect the historic environment and make our pavements safe, accessible and clutter-free for pedestrians.”