Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Corporate and Social Inclusion Select Committee (ceased to operate 03/06/2015) Minutes

Date:
Wednesday, 7th May, 2014
Time:
09.30am
Place:
Auditorium, Stockton Baptist Tabernacle, Stockton, TS18 1TE
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Mick Stoker(Chairman), Cllr Tracey Stott(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Norma Wilburn,
Officers:
Graham Birtle, Jenna McDonald (LDS) Mike Chicken, John Angus (DNS)
In Attendance:
Lucy Dixon - Regional Campaigns Officer, Richard Merritt - Chairman of Yarm Chambers of Trade, Frank Thomas - Chairman of Norton Village Association
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Bill Woodhead
Item Description Decision
Public
CSI
1/14
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
CSI
2/14
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
CSI
3/14
MINUTES FOR SIGNATURE - 15TH OCTOBER 2013
AGREED that the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a correct record
CSI
4/14
DRAFT MINUTES - 26TH NOVEMBER 2013
AGREED that the minutes be approved.
CSI
5/14
REVIEW OF STREET CAFE FURNITURE AND A-BOARD
ADVERTISING

AGREED that the next meeting would consider draft recommendations for this review.

AGREED that the Scrutiny Officer was to contact interested and affected parties to keep them informed of the progress of the review and future Committee meetings.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CSI
1/14
The evacuation procedure was noted.
CSI
2/14
There were no declarations of interest.
CSI
3/14
The minutes of the meeting held on 15th October 2013 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
CSI
4/14
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 26th November 2013.
CSI
5/14
Consideration was given to the review of Street Cafe Furniture and A-Board Advertising.

The Committee was provided with a presentation from the Built and Natural Environment Manager giving examples of Cafe's and businesses in Norton High Street and Yarm High Street which had boards and furniture on the highway outside of their business.

Members were informed that due to ongoing works in Stockton Town Centre there were very few businesses with furniture or advertisement boards outside. It was highlighted that Street Cafe's would be encouraged once all of the works in Stockton High Street were complete. Not only did street furniture and A-Boards cause obstruction when directly opposite each other but also when opposite a council bin, lamppost or plant pot.

The Chairman from Yarm Chambers of Trade informed the Committee that A-Boards used for advertising were extremely beneficial to small, local businesses. It was highlighted that swing boards were now a lot more common than A-Boards. Members were also informed that due to street lights and bins causing obstruction on Yarm High-street, A-boards and furniture had been placed on the same side as Council furniture to make sure that the obstructions were kept to a minimum. A concern was raised that if A-Boards and swing boards were placed up against the front of buildings it would create more of a risk when looking in shop windows.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) Regional Campaigns Officer raised concerns and highlighted that problems are caused when Street Cafe Furniture did not have railings around to contain tables and chairs. The Committee heard that many campaigners would have preferred there to have been licensing policies in place with regards to A-Boards and Street Furniture owned by local businesses to ensure that the policies in place were being abided by and standards were being met. A similar review had recently taken place in Sunderland where, it was claimed, 50 per cent of the A-Boards and street café furniture was considered to be causing an obstruction.

Members asked questions as to how checks on policies could be carried out and how residents could raise concerns.

The Committee agreed that communication with traders was vital and that all business owners should have had a clear indication of policies when in place.

The Chair of Norton Village Association highlighted that self-enforcement should be encouraged within associations as opposed to immediately involving the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team.

The Chairman of Yarm Chambers of Trade suggested that if a member of the public approached the business owner with a problem regarding A-Boards and Street Furniture, it was likely that the business owner would take action and aim to resolve the problem themselves.

Members heard that advertisements on railings on roadsides were also a problem to those in wheelchairs as the advertisements prevented the individual from being able to see through the railing. Members were informed that advertisements on railings had been moved in the past due to restricting view.

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