Bence falls fouls of banner busybodies

Independent builders merchant George Bence & Sons in Cheltenham has been ordered to remove advertising banners as part of a clampdown by the council.
The borough council has written to the company, demanding it removes the large canvas signs from outside the business.

Managing director Paul Bence said he was unhappy with the situation and pointed to inconsistencies in the authority’s approach – with other companies allowed to get away with displaying gaudy signs just metres away from his business.

He said: “It’s disappointing for us, especially as we have had these signs up for such a long time. Compared to other signs outside some shops in the town, these are quite tasteful and fit in well with the area.

“Across the road we have giant eggs, toast and beer on show at the shop opposite, but we aren’t allowed to quietly promote a local independent business through tasteful banners.

“It just seems inconsistent. We will have been here for 160 years next year so more support would have been nice.”

The banners are attached to railings and designed to catch the eyes of passing motorists. A council spokesman said Bence’s was not the only company to be affected by the crackdown. The firm is situated within the town’s central conservation area where stricter planning rules apply.

Bence said: “We don’t want to get into a row with the council and we will take them down as requested. But we are not altogether happy about it.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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