A shopkeeper from Hornsea says he has been unfairly singled out after the council told him to remove tables of fruit and veg from the pavement outside.
Alvin Wilkinson started selling the produce after a new supermarket opened, cutting his trade. Officials say customers stopping to pick items off his display are blocking the footpath. James Webster reports.
The shopkeeper in Hornsea, who has been told to remove his fruit and vegetables from outside his shop, says other traders on the same street are not being singled out in the same way. Alvin Wilkinson points out that their displays (below) are on narrower sections of pavements than his tables.
Mr Wilkinson only started selling local produce after a new supermarket opened nearby as a way of attracting customers back to his business. Since then he says trade has improved significantly.
East Riding of Yorkshire has been explaining its decision to ask shopkeeper Alvin Wilkinson to remove his tables of fruit and vegetables from the outside of his store in Hornsea.
Unlike some authorities, this council does not have a zero tolerance approach to the display of goods for sale, or advertising boards on the highway (including pavements). Instead, we try to work with businesses to strike a balanced approach. We consider the needs of businesses to attract custom and the benefits that some displays might add to the vibrancy of the town, and we balance that against the need for the free flow of pedestrians, avoiding obstructions, and an uncontrolled proliferation of signage and other displays.
This pragmatic approach can sometimes be difficult to achieve and from time to time business owners are requested to remove or reduce ‘offending’ items.
In this particular instance, following complaints received and subsequent investigation, it was found that, whilst the display itself did not cause a particular obstruction, groups of shoppers around the display meant that other pedestrians often had to move out on to the road in order to pass it. Indeed it was claimed that a child had actually been struck by a car wing mirror in the process of stepping into the road to get round the shoppers. This obvious danger was therefore not an acceptable situation, which led to the request for the removal of the display.
Alvin Wilkinson from Hornsea is defying council orders to remove his fruit and vegetable display from outside his shop because he fears it will damage his trade. The 71 year old estimates he lost £1500 a week when a new supermarket opened and he disputes claims that customers block the pavement.
A shopkeeper from Hornsea is accusing East Riding of Yorkshire Council of unfairly singling him out after insisting he removes his fruit and vegetables from the outside of his shop. Alvin Wilkinson began selling the produce after he says a new supermarket caused a dramatic drop in trade.
The 71 year old, who has run his Countdown shop for 21 years, says officials previously approved his display but he has now received a letter telling him it must go. They say complaints have been received that while the produce does not block the pavement, the shoppers gathered around it do.
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