Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins on A-board anarchy...

Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins shares his views in his weekly Comet column.

Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins shares his views in his weekly Comet column. - Credit: Archant

Vintage is one of those buzz words of the moment – Vintage clothing, vintage fairs, vintage market stalls, vintage tea rooms…vintage town centre managers come to that.

Hitchin town centre.

Hitchin town centre. - Credit: Archant

And now we have vintage activities when aforementioned vintage establishment Molly’s Tea Room in Bancroft are hosting good old retro board games evenings on the last Thursday of each month from 6pm to 10pm with support from Mark Norman, who runs Whitwell Board Game Club.

There’s one on May 25, June 29, July 27 etc. No entry fee so dig out that old Cluedo or Balderdash – or if you haven’t got your own game, play with one of the ‘house’ games. All welcome, but not suitable for under-eights.

While we’re in Bancroft, welcome to Paws Fur & Fin at 97 Bancroft – where Caroline Smith and Eileen Woolmer have opened up selling pet food, accessories and treats. Check out their website at pawsfurandfin.co.uk or give them a call on 01462 452354.

Well, the first two columns have generated some interest in that we’re looking at projects to highlight the problems of chewing gum disposal in association with the tireless enthusiasm of Rachel Campbell of ‘Binstallation’ and Clean-Up Britain fame, and a few people have commented on the provision of local government – so it looks like those issues will be ongoing.

There have been a few ideas for topics for the column and over the next weeks, we’ll be looking at The Dell, parking generally and commuter parking specifically, Hitchin Festival and the state of our public areas. But first I’d like to consider street furniture generally and A-boards specifically – regarded by many businesses as an essential marketing tool, and by many a pedestrian as a complete pain on the pavement.

Back in 2015, Hertfordshire County Council – the Highways authority – issued a Code of Practice specifically for A-boards asking for businesses to register for consent. Unfortunately, with no enforcement capability, there is once more anarchy on the streets!

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There are a dozen conditions that have to be satisfied relating to size and position, including the fact that there should only be one advertising sign per trading establishment and that they must not be rotating, swinging or flexible or fixed in any way to lamp posts, bollards, seats or other items of street furniture.

There should always be an unobstructed footway width of two metres – 1.2 metres if prior Highways consent obtained.

And signs should be removed at the end of trading each day!

If you are struggling avoiding pavement obstacles, do report them to Highways either online or via us, or visit your councillors’ surgery on the first Saturday of the month from 10.30am to noon – the next one’s on Saturday, May 6.

To find out more about the work of Hitchin Initiative and Hitchin BID give Keith a call on 01462 453335 or email info@hitchinherts.com

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