Garstang town councillors have expressed concerns that advertising hoardings placed over heritage style bollards in the town centre are destroying its handsome streetscape.
Those in the Town Council’s sights include local businesses and the Town Trust, all of whom have placed the signs over the distinctive black bollards on the town’s High Street and Market Place.
Concerns were raised at last week’s Garstang Town Council meeting when it was pointed out some of the advertisements were scruffier than others.
The debate followed a complaint from a member of the public who had contacted the Town Council.
Mayor Coun Graham Salisbury counselled that a word with the Chamber of Trade was the way ahead and warned against creating any rift with them. Councillors were advised Lancashire County Council acknowledged it was not right to use the bollards in this way, but admitted it had no manpower to enforce removal of the signs unless they were an immediate danger or had been reported by the public.
Coun Lynn Harter said there were two schools of thought – with businesses saying they are vital for bringing in trade whilst on market days some of the signs are used to advise heavy goods vehicles to avoid the main street.
County Coun and Town Councillor Sandra Perkins observed the bollards were appearing all over and added: “It’s only the shortage of manpower removing them...but they could send someone to remove them. Do you want me to approach Lancashire County Council and ask them to enforce it?”
Coun Tom Balmain spoke up for businesses and said: “In my personal view there is nothing wrong. All they are trying to do is market their business in very hard times.”
Coun Harter wondered whether a compromise was needed allowing businesses “just one each”. Coun Peter Ryder said the right number and right quality were needed it would be appropriate to have a dialogue with the Chamber of Trade and the Town Trust.
He said: “There is a compromise to be had here. There are multiple signs and some of them are extremely tacky.”
But Coun Mike Halford argued the matter should be passed back to the county council declaring: “This is not a town council issue - need to be careful”
Clerk Edwina Parry advised while Wyre Council is responsible for flytipping issues, enforcement regarding the bollards was a county council job. The mayor said although they could send the “big guns” in he was “not so sure how that would go down with the business community... I certainly don’t want to see a rift between this Town Council and the Chamber.”
It was agreed the council would approach the Chamber of Trade for talks.