A-boards vanishing from Chichester city centre

Angela Parker, of Lane's End Cafe
Angela Parker, of Lane's End Cafe

ANOTHER ‘nail in the coffin for small businesses’ has seen enforcement notices for A-boards issued in Chichester city centre.

Angela Parker, owner of Lane’s End Cafe, in Jay’s Walk, off St Martin Street, received a letter in May telling her to remove the board by the end of yesterday (June 3).

“We’ve got enough competition without the council sticking the boot in,” she said.

Last year, Chichester District Council’s planning committee agreed to the removal of A-boards from the city centre, with traders who refused facing potential prosecution.

Mrs Parker said her A-board brought in more than half her footfall.

“I’m being a bit defiant over this. I’ve got to, because I’ve got to keep my business afloat.”

Last year she submitted a petition with more than 200 signatures to keep her A-board, but said so far the district council had not even acknowledged it.

“I want to be able to put my A-board out. I do believe they need tidying up. I’ve no bones about that. I’m quite willing to pay a small licensing fee.

“Obviously if I took responsibility of licensing it and health and safety issues for it, then what’s the problem? I’m just trying to make a living and keep people employed.”

She said she intended to appeal the decision, adding: “This is just another nail in the coffin for small businesses.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Many traders have already removed their A-boards and we would like to thank them for doing this. It has already made a significant difference to the city centre and local residents with sight impairments have commented on it,” she said.

“This has been a really difficult task, because we appreciate that businesses need to promote themselves.”

She said the council was ‘fully supportive’ of local traders.

The Chichester City Centre Partnership has been working on plans to help businesses suffering from A-board loss, but Mrs Parker said she was still to see any evidence of the plans.