Board ban is bad news for Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs

Cowgate, Kirkintilloch 8.8.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
Cowgate, Kirkintilloch 8.8.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

TAKING away advertising sandwich boards from outside shops and premises could damage business.

That’s the fear of Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor David Ritchie and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

East Dunbartonshire Council recently announced a “zero tolerance” approach to advertising sandwich boards placed on town centre pavements and fly-posting materials.

The council claims they spoil the appearance of streets and are a potential hazard for motorists and pedestrians, but both Councillor Ritchie and the FSB say they have been contacted by shops with concerns.

Councillor Ritchie said: “Businesses use the boards as a marketing tool to get people into shops.

“It comes at a time when we are trying to promote the town centre and encourage business and tourism to the area. I don’t think a blanket ban on sandwich boards is the way forward.

“There must be another way that businesses can advertise. The council should have asked businesses for their opinion.”

Shopkeepers and businesses have until October 3 to remove sandwich boards.

Gary Groves, chairman of the Dumbarton branch of FSB, said: “I understand where the council is coming from, but having a total ban on sandwich boards will have an impact. It could lead to some shops losing out.

“The council has not had a discussion about it with us. We will be finding out what the feeling is among members and contacting the council.”

David Devine, East Dunbartonshire Council’s head of roads and neighbourhood services, said: “The zero-tolerance approach to sandwich boards is to address the hazards and risks to pedestrians and motorists from the dangers posed by clutter on the streets and precincts. The council has a duty of care to keep roads and pedestrian thoroughfares safe – and sandwich boards can be particularly hazardous.”

* What’s your view? E-mail kirkyherald@jnscotland.co.uk