Sunday, June 12, 2016

Shop owner unhappy with council after her yarn bombing scheme fell foul of regulations

A shop owner is unhappy with her local council after she said they ordered her to stop her scheme to brighten up her street. Susanne Johnson from Johnson’s wool and haberdashery shop in South Shore, Blackpool, Lancashire, has been told by officials that her “yarn bombing” scheme fell foul of regulations. Susanne and friends knitted colourful decorations for lamp-posts and signs in Bond Street, with a plan to have one on every piece of street furniture right up to the Prom.

She said the idea was to brighten up the area and lead people down to the often overlooked independent shops in the area. One lamp-post is resplendent with imaginative monsters complete with googly eyes and comical feet, another has bee transformed into a tree with a cheeky squirrel. Susanne said she had spent around £200 on wool for the project and she and friends had spent hours on the knitting. She said: “Yarn bombing has been done all over the world in some really beautiful places, Toronto, Australia, India, and Bristol so we thought how much more needed was it here and what better way to decorate our own area.

“But the latest one had been up just a day or two when we got a man coming along to tell us we had to take it down. It is an ‘illegal attachment to a lamppost’ apparently. It is such a shame. The knitting is not doing any harm. We have left a space for maintenance and have done no damage.” She added: “Our next lamppost was to be an under the sea theme for outside the fish and chip shop. “One of my friends had already started on the tentacles for the octopus. It puts a smile on people’s faces when they walk past. Children like to run up and hug them.”

The council has said it is willing to help the traders in the Bond Street area, but the lamp-posts were out of bounds. Coun Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We’re happy to work with Mrs Johnson on ways to make South Shore a nicer area and more attractive to shoppers. People can’t just go about attaching things to lamp-posts and parking signs but if they speak to us first then we are very amenable to helping people who are keen to brighten up their area. In this instance, we will speak to Mrs Johnson and come up with a solution that satisfies both parties.”

No comments: