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
- 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.
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.