Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI slam enforcement action against festive banner

Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI slam enforcement action against festive banner

20 November 2019

Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI slams Belfast City Council enforcement action against their members on festive banner and ‘A’ boards

Well known trade bodies, Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI have demanded that Belfast City Council suspend their enforcement action on several of its members using festive banners and promotional ‘A’ boards throughout the city, branding it a ‘slap in the face’ as they try to trade during the festive period.

In a joint statement, Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster and Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive of Retail NI said:

“The enforcement action and associated media coverage on the temporary festive banner on Ten Square Hotel only serves to highlight that retailers and those in the hospitality sector have been receiving letters of threat from Belfast City Council for some time on the use of ‘A’ boards to promote their businesses. This is a very heavy handed approach to an issue, which in reality, causes no harm.”

“What makes this action worse, is that fact that it is being carried out during what should be a busier period for Belfast City Centre - Christmas. For many of our members this is the time when they can make some money to help sustain them through the early months of the new year as they struggle to pay their exorbitant rates and bills, when fewer people are spending and going out.”

“Given the serious nature of the legal threats against our members, and the critical period of trading we are in, we call on Belfast City Council to immediately suspend all action, and resolve this issue through the Belfast City Centre reference group, so that a fair and sustainable solution can be found. A solution that applies the law equally to all, whilst providing a way that small businesses can carry out promotional activity in a cost-effective way. It’s time to give traders and owners who work hard for the city a break.”
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