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Issue 337 – Traders say A-boards give character to iconic Frome street

BUSINESSES are calling for their A-boards to be retained in Cheap Street, Frome, after complaints had been made to Frome’s Chamber of Commerce about the displays.

The A-boards straddle the leat which runs through the centre of Cheap Street, but have come under fire recently from local residents.
Jonathon Atkinson, from the Settle Restaurant on Cheap Street, said that the boards act as a visual deterrent to people tripping into the water of the leat, as well as adding character to the iconic street. He said, “The A-boards serve the function of advertising our businesses. In this time of recession we need to be getting our name out there.”
Jonathon used to have four A-boards, two of which were directly outside the restaurant. “Since I have removed these, people have fallen into the leat outside. It’s one thing to tell us the A-boards have to be removed, but what about when people start to claim for injury through the town council?
“The Chamber of Commerce was acting on complaints they had heard from residents, but the A-boards contribute towards the character of the street.”
President of Frome Chamber of Commerce, Neil Howlett said, “On a practical level, I have spoken to the businesses identified in the original complaint and they have moved and reduced the number of boards they have out.
“I should say that none of the businesses about whom they complained had been approached by anyone. I have also been in contact with all of the people who have contacted the town council about this issue. This needs to be considered with wider questions of how we want our streets to look and how we use them. I am sure that nobody wants to turn Frome into a US-style sanitised shopping mall.
“I think it needs to be done in a co-ordinated way. The Chamber has also proposed that this should be part of the wider public consultation that will take place as part of the ‘town design statement’, including street furniture, bollards, cobbles, paving, Cockey lamps and trees.”

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