26 August 2018

Councillor’s Corner 18/19 No 2 - A Boards Update

Pitmen supporter and HTFCSA committee member Paul Woodhead is a Cannock Chase District Councillor for Hednesford. You will see him around the ground most match days, usually as Pitman Pete and in the Strikers Bar after the game where you can talk to him about any matters or issues of concern.

In these articles I want to bring the role of the councillor alive to you and ensure I am accountable to you as the elected representative for the ward in which the football club resides. I will highlight some of the things I get involved with and the decisions the council makes on your behalf. I will be available after most home games for a general conversation and we can arrange a private discussion should that be appropriate. Alternatively you can contact me by phone on 07930 120077 or by email paul.woodhead@greenparty.org.uk

You will likely have heard quite a lot over the last few months about A Boards and the implementation of a Council policy to restrict and charge for the use of the highway (paths and pedestrian areas) for advertising boards and pavement cafes. This policy was consulted upon last year, passed by majority vote and implemented from April this year.

The policy is proving to be both controversial and unpopular as elements are restricting traders disproportionately, there are a number unintended and consequential costs and an adequate impact assessment has not been completed.

Following public pressure through the press, traders feedback facilitated from myself and a petition organised by our MP a review of the policy has been forced. Councillors refused to back my motion recently to suspend the implementation of the policy whilst the review was completed but at least a review is underway.

The policy currently only applies to the town centres of Hednesford, Rugeley and Cannock and requires traders to pay the council if they want to use an advertising board, establish a pavement café or use the highway to display goods for sale. There are policy terms and conditions to be applied and the fee varies with use. The argument for the policy is about the safe shared use of the public areas but I remain of the view that something is either safe or not safe, paying a fee doesn’t make something that is unsafe, safe.

If you want to feed your views, opinion or information in to the review please get in touch