As reported on Andover & Villages in August, Andover town centre businesses were written to by Hampshire County Council and given 28 days to remove their Advertising Boards. Failure to comply would result in the removal of the boards, a charge to the business for the removal, a fine and potential prosecution.
Speaking to Andover & Villages, Cllr Tony Hooke said that he and Cllr Tim Rolt had met with Cllr Sean Woodward to discuss the situation with Andover town centre businesses regarding the use of A Boards to advertise their businesses, and had received agreement from Cllr Woodward to ‘hold any and all action on Andover town businesses regarding the removal of advertising boards’.
Cllr Sean Woodward said, “This is a completely untrue statement from Cllr Hooke. It is correct that he and Cllr Rolt met with me last week. I explained that the responsibility of advertising on the highway falls to County Councils, and it is the policy of Hampshire County Council to have zero tolerance regarding it.
“However, district councils can apply to take over the responsibility of advertising on highways, and, up until two weeks ago, no district council in Hampshire had expressed an interest in taking over the matter of advertising boards.
“Two weeks ago, Test Valley Borough Council contacted Hampshire County Council and expressed an interest, but since then there has been no contact.
“The situation with the advertising boards has not changed. The compliance officers are already out collecting evidence to move forward with removal of advertising boards, fines and potential prosecution.”
Cllr Hooke told Andover and Villages, “Test Valley Borough Council plan to take over the matter of advertising boards from Hampshire County Council and will implement a licensing scheme, which will cost traders an amount a month to be able to retain their advertising boards.”
Test Valley Borough Council have denied that they have any plans to take the responsibility of advertising boards over from Hampshire County Council.
Speaking to Cllr Hooke again, he said “I am flabbergasted, Cllr Woodward said that we have room and time to get this sorted, its like banging my head against a brick wall. I will get this matter sorted, either when TVBC agrees to meet and discuss or when I take over TVBC next year.”
Andover & Villages can also confirm that Cllr Iris Andersen met with Cllr Sean Woodward to try and find a way forward for the affected Andover Town Centre Businesses.
One Andover business owner told Andover & Villages, “Not only is it distressing to understand how I am going to be able to inform potential customers where my shop is, but we are having to deal with a situation where we are told one thing and then another. I keep seeing information from Cllr Hooke saying that he has sorted the situation, only to find out five minutes later that it isn’t true.”
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