A CRACKDOWN on traders advertising their wares on the street has been met with anger.

Shopkeepers in Epping High Street were told to take A-boards, some which had been in place for years, off pavements by Essex County Council yesterday.

Rob Young, owner of Epping Shoe Repairs, said: “I was told to move the sign within two hours.

“It’s hard enough in business at the moment and they’re making it more difficult by threatening me with fines and having my board taken away. It’s rubbish.

“There’s been a sign there 13 years.”

He said he was handed an un-dated letter on county council headed paper by an officer warning that he could be liable for court action and costs if he did not take the four-foot sign advertising his business off the pavement.

“I could understand if it was a thin pavement, but it’s not,” he added.

“It also serves a double job – within 20 minutes of me moving the sign, cars were parking on the pavement.

“We used to have three bollards there, but over the years, they’ve been broken.”

He has moved his sign back onto the pavement while he waits for a formal letter from the council.

Sarah Kay, of Minx lingerie shop in Station Road, who was told to remove her A-board, said: “If you speak to the business owners here, it’s not easy – we have a lot of competition from Westfield.

“How are people supposed to know I’m here? It seems like they’re just trying to make it hard to trade.

“All the council is doing is telling us what we can’t do and not promoting us.”

But an Essex County Council spokeswoman said the authority did not deal with advertisements.

“A-board advertising enforcement is dealt with by districts and boroughs,” she added.