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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Charity box stays in pavement blitz
Haverfordwest town centre generic
Pavements in Haverfordwest are ordered to be sign free
A shopkeeper has expressed his delight after council officials backed down from their decision to order the removal of a charity box from outside his store.

Boyd Ingle had raised hundreds of pounds for Guide Dogs for the Blind from the three-foot high model of a black Labrador and puppy.

Guide Dogs for the Blind Association logo
Guide Dogs for the Blind have applauded the decision

But he was shocked when Pembrokeshire county council officials ordered him to remove the collection box from outside his shop in Haverfordwest or face a fine of 2500.

The order came as dozens of other local businesses were told to remove unauthorised signs and other objects from the pavements.

Mr Ingle said the council took their pavement blitz too far when they told him to take away the box and appealed against the decision.

"People from the council came around and went to every shop on the main street telling them to remove signs - which is fair enough," said Mr Ingle.

"But that charity box has been there for four years and every time it is emptied it is full.

"It raises a lot of money for a good cause and everybody loves it.


When they told me to remove the charity box, I couldn't believe my ears.

Boyd Ingle, Newsagent

"But I am really pleased that they have decided I can keep it and I have even had the charity on the phone saying they are going to bring me a new dog," said the 40-year-old fundraiser.

A council spokeswoman said a risk assessment will still have to be carried out on the collection box.

She said the council crackdown was being carried out following a proliferation of illegal advertising signs because of the potential danger to pedestrians.

"Unauthorised signs and other objects not only cause a distraction to motorists and an obstruction to pedestrians, particularly the disabled and visually impaired, but they also give visitors a poor impression of the county.

"It is ironic that a case is being made for a collecting box for Guide Dogs for the Blind, but which itself poses a potential risk for people with impaired vision," she said.

The collection box raised funds for guide dogs
The collection box raised funds for guide dogs

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association recently appealed to local authorities and retailers to remove street obstructions.

A survey of guide dog owners for the association revealed some of the greatest hazards they face are advertising boards and other outdoor 'shop furniture'.

"Guide dogs are trained to safely navigate obstacles, but when 'street furniture' becomes a 'moving obstruction' the guide dog and owner are put in danger by the disruption to their regular walking route," said a spokesman.

The spokesman said they were extremely pleased a compromise had been reached between the council and Mr Ingle.

However, the blitz on pavement signs in Haverfordwest has angered other traders.

Joanne Richards, manager of local shop In-Fabrics said that her business will suffer as a result.

"I know that a lot of the traders are unhappy with this," she said.


Where I Live, South West Wales
See also:

10 Apr 02 | England
18 Jun 02 | Wales
17 Jun 02 | Wales
14 Jun 02 | Scotland
13 Jun 02 | Scotland
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