Many businesses across the city correctly use A-boards to advertise their business or services.

Some businesses do not. These businesses are urged to follow the Voluntary Code of Compliance:

The voluntary code of compliance for A-boards

A-boards used must:

  • be correctly placed against the shop wall
  • not block the pavement or highway
  • give at least 2 metres clearance for people to walk by on the public footpath

A-boards must not cause a traffic hazard, such as blocking drivers views at junctions and must not be put on:

  • grass verges
  • roundabouts
  • central reservations

Any A-board placed on public land must have Public Liability Insurance for at least £2,000,000.

Any liability for an accident caused by an A-board stays with the owner of the A-board.

A-board use

Controlling where A-boards are placed, is vital so they do not:

  • obstruct pedestrians walking on the path.
  • block the views of drivers or traffic signage.

We have a duty to make sure:

  • the public is safe
  • there is a no danger to them using the highway

By following these rules, the business is:

  • following the Voluntary Code of Compliance
  • working with us to keep people safe

If an A-board is incorrectly placed on the highway, (breaking the Voluntary Code), enforcement action including the removal of the A-board, will be taken.

Frequently asked questions

What powers do Southend-on-Sea City Council have?

We can give a formal Notice, under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, asking a business to remove any A-boards not following the Voluntary Code.

Can I ignore a letter I receive about my A-board?

We will usually contact businesses before taking formal enforcement action.

We would prefer businesses follow the Voluntary Code without needing to give a formal Notice and possibly prosecute them.

We recommend a business:

  • does not ignore letters or advice given
  • checks they fully understand and meet the A-board Voluntary Code

When would a Notice be given by Southend-on-Sea City Council?

We will usually contact a business to ask them to follow the A-board Voluntary Code.

If the business ignores the requests, we can give a Notice that asks for the A-board to be removed within either 24 hours or 48 hours, depending on its position.

If the A-board is causing a danger it will be removed immediately.

What happen if the Council removes an A-board?

It will be stored for 28 days. If unclaimed, it will be destroyed.

What happens if I ignore the notice, or I refuse to follow it?

If the business getting the notice fails to follow it within the time given, they are guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of up to £2,500.

Will failure to follow the notice always end in prosecution?

Where the business ignores the notice, we have powers to:

  • remove and store an A-board
  • recharge the cost for its removal to the business

Prosecution is more likely if there are repeat incidents with a certain business who have ignored notices.

My business received a notice and I have followed it since, what happens next?

If you have followed the notice, thank you.

Contact recycling and waste

Telephone: 01702 215006

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