Stakeholder Workshop 13th November 2017 – Summary of Key Points Raised
We know that a high quality public realm encourages greater levels of footfall and increased demand from traders to locate into these spaces.
Q1. How accessible, safe and attractive do you think Edinburgh’s streets are for all users?
Too much clutter in our streets – definitely scope to be safer, more attractive and more accessible
We want clutter free, safe, attractive and accessible streets but not sterilised
Clutter and items which impact on amenity and attractiveness also includes bins, signs, bollards, beggars – not just on-street advertising
‘A’ boards etc restrict accessibility of streets especially for those with impairments
‘A’ boards etc add nothing to our streets
Poor quality of pavements, narrow widths in places and poor lighting
Pavements purpose is for access and structures which restrict this should be removed
We’re in competition with other cities and need to wake up to realise the impression created by these structures.
Need to encourage more responsibility from businesses for the public realm and spaces around their business (e.g. sweeping away snow)
Goods for sale outside premises is attractive so long as it’s not restricting movement
We need to work together to balance the needs of all users of our streets. The vision seeks to maximise the walkability, safety and attractiveness of our streets to benefit all users.
Q2. In delivering the vision, what do you think the barriers are to achieving a city-wide restriction on temporary on-street advertising structures?
Need a clear plan and justifiable rational
Consistency in enforcement, do we have the resources? Current restrictions are not enforced properly – how can this change? Just concentrate on high footfall streets?
Having a deliverable enforcement strategy is critical
If it is not simple, convincing and fair people will not sign-up
Need to ensure Council is also working hard to reduce its own street clutter – what is happening across the Council to do this? There should be consistency/fairness in approach to de-cluttering our streets and this should be communicated so that businesses do not feel singled out (street furniture, bins, signs and council advertising etc). CEC should lead by example
Counter argument that removal of on-street adverts will result in loss of trade
Challenge is persuading people who have to comply that it’s not difficult, there is a clear plan that is in the interests of the city
Consider local issues as there is a high volume of people in city centre streets and priorities can depend upon which area you live in
Communicating effectively the benefits to traders
Must have consistency of approach
Signage in closes is a challenge
Tour board operators have no on-street premises – look at different approach
Look at how other cities are managing this issue – lessons learnt?
We need to work with traders on helping us deliver the vision and we need to provide support on maximising the advertising potential of their premises.
Q3. How would a city-wide restriction be best implemented (i.e. phased, all at once), and how can we best engage with and support traders through this process?
Approach needs to be fair, consistent, holistic and well communicated
Zonal phasing but city wide strategy/approach. Priority in city centre ward, tackle priority streets
Could look at complete ban during summer festivals and outwith this time with enforcement happening in high footfall areas during the rest of the time
Look at creative, digital ways to attract footfall (Wi-Fi messaging re local offers)
Could we use income from enforcement or permit based system? Cost recovery
Efficiencies could be looked at in terms of joined-up street management i.e. parking inspectors, environmental wardens etc
Encourage businesses to think about more creative ways to advertise shop front i.e. seats outside, creative window displays. However, Council should leave this to businesses to decide what is best, Council resources best spent on delivering/communicating strategy
Link to wayfinding
Need high level of business support / buy-in for this to work
Communication of strategy must set out clear benefits and be evidence based
Tell Edinburgh, share the vision beyond the businesses – use ‘Our Edinburgh’
Demonstrate to businesses why temporary on-street advertising is a problem and encourage them to look at alternatives
Drop-ins, online questionnaire and visiting premises where possible would be good
Link in with communication going to businesses on business rates
Look at tailored approach for outlying areas
Roll out of trade waste policy was a good model
Look at other cities