Public backs signs stance

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 24/01/2014
bus stop
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
MEANWHILE: A member of the public wants to know how the Timaru District Council can justify the recent placement of this bus stop sign on Morgans Rd when it is clearly a hazard for walkers who are not paying attention. TDC could not provide an answer as staff are still on leave.

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The public has risen up in support of a Church St butcher who is refusing to take his signs down, despite Timaru District Council requests.

Export Meats owner Mark McDonald featured in yesterday's Herald, expressing his concern he was being unfairly targeted by authorities who claim the advertising signs on his veranda posts create hazardous conditions for traffic or pedestrians.

The signs have been in place for 14 years without complaint.

One of his customers, who did not wish to be identified, said if the signs were removed the NZ Post box next to them would also need to be removed for the council's bylaw on signs to be applied consistently.

"It think it is ridiculous," she said.

Facebook and online posts showed almost all contributors were in favour of Mr McDonald retaining his signs in their current positions.

Online writer Graham Walker said he was surprised that the same bylaw used by the council against Mr McDonald was not used to get rid of the hazardous brick footpath tiles in the central business district.

Darnae Percy felt Mr McDonald was being bullied and that if he was forced to move his signs, 90 per cent of retailers in Timaru would need to do the same.

A walk along Stafford St by two Herald staff yesterday had them navigating obstacles such as sandwich boards, chairs and tables, bench seats, rubbish bins, bollards, signposts, traffic light poles and tables of stock.

There were 79 signs, 12 tables of stock and five flags as well as several groups of tables and chairs in the two blocks of Stafford St between Church St and Sefton St East.

Permanent fixtures must be approved by the council. A spokesperson for one retailer said no permission had been sought to place a table of goods in front of their store.

The council has yet to respond to questions from the Herald about Mr McDonald's shop and CBD signage.

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- The Timaru Herald

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