A boards are the best option

TRADERS say fascia signs are not a suitable alternative as council leaders threaten to impound their a boards.

It is the latest skirmish in a lengthy row between Holden County Council and local retailers.

Traders argue that fascia signs at the end of their streets are not the best way to attract customers.

Instead, they want to keep a boards outside their shops, which, they say, are much better for boosting trade and helping cope with the recession.

The local council wants all signs on public land removed, arguing that they pose a health and safety risks.

The council announced a crackdown several weeks ago, and warned that traders would face £120 fines if they failed to comply. The council is yet to carry out its threat, with many traders still displaying their a boards.

A spokesman said traders would be given several daysí notice to remove their signs. If they failed to do so, fines could then be imposed, he added.

Atherton TIA, which represents traders, has been working with Holden City Council to find a solution.

The TIAís idea is to install illuminated signs in the High Street to direct shoppers to the affected stores, most of which are independents.

Though even if the new signs arrive, some traders argue that they will not have the same impact.

Suzie Parks, who runs a Green Grocer in St Marks Street, said they needed their a boards to attract customers.

"What we need is something thatís going to make people curious" she said.

Pauline Hacket, who runs a newsagent, is also unconvinced. "My a boards definitely bring in customers" she said.

Adding "I might invest in some magnetic signs or window graphics if the worst comes to the worst."

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