I was deeply disappointed by the story in last week’s Observer which stated that Rye Town Council was ‘declaring war on the “A” Board Menace’. It made this perfectly legitimate form of advertising sound like a lurking terror, waiting to snap pit-bull like at the heels of the unwary.
It also made the Town Council, and me in particular, sound as if we were seeking to curtail trade in the town – why on earth would we do such a thing?
I was particularly annoyed at the random nature of the accompanying photographs, most of which portrayed legitimate and licensed boards displaying on private land and not in fact on a pavement area. It is true that the Town Council have identified some advertising boards and trading habits which are causing problems and will be contacting the traders responsible.
There have been complaints and the Town Council would be failing in its duty if it did not take notice but at the same time it wishes to prevent a higher and probably more heavy-handed authority than ours becoming involved in a matter we feel can be handled with a diplomatic and friendly approach.
I would like to personally apologise to those traders whose legal and licensed boards were pictured in the feature and only hope that the unexpected publicity will actually aid your business in the run up to Christmas and beyond.
Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore
Rye Town Councillor
The Observer would like to point out that the story was based on an accurate report of the meeting where Cllr Fiddimore pointed out some boards were causing “Glaring problems” and “several shops were trading on the pavement and really spreading out”.
It was also clear in the meeting that the council had little knowledge as to which boards were on private land and which were not.