This is just arrogant'

PUBLISHED: 12:45 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

SALVAGED:Veronica Handley with Astarte Bridal’s A-board.
Photo: HELEN DRAKE 9647

SALVAGED:Veronica Handley with Astarte Bridal's A-board. Photo: HELEN DRAKE 9647

THE county council s operation to remove A-boards from the streets has enraged small businesses in Littleport. Contractors seized the self-standing boards in an operation two weeks ago following a central Government directive to remove them, but the decis

THE county council's operation to remove A-boards from the streets has enraged small businesses in Littleport.

Contractors seized the self-standing boards in an operation two weeks ago following a central Government directive to remove them, but the decision has met with almost unanimous disapproval.

Fred Brown, owner of Astarte Bridal, managed to reclaim his board, but others have been taken, including a board in Main Street advertising The Branching Out Cafe, which is run by the Littleport charity.

Veronica Handley, sales director at Astarte Bridal in Main Street, said that, as far as she knew, she had not received a letter from the council warning her about the impending action.

"We were sitting having a cup of tea and some guy just came along and took it," she said.

"Our board stood between two bollards so it wasn't in anyone's way."

She said Mr Brown demanded to have his board back, saying that the hand-painted advertising had cost £80, and that although the council's contractor allowed him to keep the board, he threatened that it would be put "in the crusher" if it was there the following day.

Phil Neal, who runs Neal's Carpet and Flooring Specialist, said the county council's actions were "arrogant".

"Before I could do anything, it had all happened," he said.

"There are two ways of doing things and theirs was most definitely the wrong way - it seems to be anything to get at the small businesses.

"Without warning they pick up advertising boards and put them on the back of a cart as if they were rubbish - it is not on."

A spokesman from Cambridgeshire County Council said that the aim of the operation had been to protect the public.

"We are not persecuting small businesses," he said, "and we do understand the problems they face.

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