Fears over Uckfield High Street shops being charged for having advertising boards on the pavement outside their premises have been expressed by the new town mayor.
Cllr Spike Mayhew, Independent, New Town, voiced his worries when speaking at a meeting of the council’s environment and leisure committee on Monday (June 11).
Cllr Mayhew said he had seen on social media that local businesses could be charged £800 a year by the highways authority (East Sussex County Council) to have advertising ‘A’ boards outside their premises.
Anything on pavement
“The council are going to start to charge all local businesses for anything outside their shop on the pavement, further than a couple of inches. This is all businesses.
“The High Street is suffering enough as it is. Putting extra expense on them [the businesses] is not a good idea,” he said.
Cllr Ian Smith, Independent, Ridgewood, said there were safety issues to consider, especially with people who have poor eyesight.
Cllr Mayhew said health and safety had to be abided by but … “to charge them”?
Cllr Smith replied: “I cannot see how paying the council £800 gets round the safety issue, if there is a safety issue. You cannot buy safety.
“We should have a dig about this.”
Councillors agreed to formally raise the matter with East Sussex Council at the next regular meeting of a joint committee designed to help strengthen local relationships.