A BAR owner is angry after he was told to remove a banner he put up in a bid to boost buinsess.
Paul Notton, owner of Rudi’s on Regent Circus, decided to hang a banner advertising Mother’s Day on the railings by the road to try to improve his dwindling custom while roadworks there rumble on as part of the major development nearby.
But on Tuesday a Swindon Borough Council officer came into the bar threatening to tear the banner down if it was not removed. After discussions the council allowed the banner to stay until the end of the month.
Paul said while he welcomes the new development, provisions should be made for businesses suffering during the construction.
“We pay a pavement licence of £2,000 a year, and should be given some allowances,” he said. “We had a person from the council come in and confront my staff because we had the Mother’s Day banner on their railings.
“Surely some consideration could be shown to us as traders. I know it is going to be great when it is finished but we still have our overheads to pay in the meantime. A bit of tolerance would not go amiss.
“The officer said the banners are not allowed to be put up there, but we have to do everything we can to encourage trade.
“The banner will only be up for a short time, and Mother’s Day only comes once a year so we try to maximise it. We could not have put it anywhere else without making an impression.
“The officer phoned me back later in the day, and we had a few words with each other about the incident.
“He said he would let us have it up there until Mother’s Day, but we would not be able to put anything else up after that. We got that far after having some heated words. He went on to say they had other traders complaining because they could not put their own banners up there.
“It is bad enough for people who are having to try to cross that road, because they have to get through four lanes of traffic to get to our place.
“We have been told we will be getting a pelican crossing put there as of next week, so that should solve at least some of the problems.”
A council spokesman said: “No business or individual can simply attach advertising banners or other messages to property it doesn’t own.
“This is particularly true of highway furniture such as railings and barriers, because the law recognises that it is potentially dangerous.
“If any business wants to put banners up on highway railings, it needs to apply for advertising consent and planning permission, which in general is unlikely to be granted.
“We have tried to compromise with the owner of Rudi’s and have told him that we will allow the banners to remain until the end of the month, but after that they will be removed by us if they aren’t taken away.”