Businessman angry over council advertising threats

Warrington Guardian: Kristian Johnstone Kristian Johnstone

A HARD-WORKING young entrepreneur is refusing to take down signs advertising his business despite warnings from Warrington Borough Council that he will be slapped with a £3,200 fine if he refuses.

Kristian Johnstone, from Culcheth, has since launched a petition to demand that the council provides more support for start-up businesses.

He has also accused the council of creating a money-making scheme to get funds from ‘vulnerable businesses’.

The 22-year-old, who put up 10 small signs around Warrington in December, said: “It was just a way of advertising my new business in the New Year when it’s quiet.

“I was shocked when the council told me to take them down. At the end of the day, I am just a small business trying to keep going when times are tough.”

Kristian, who set up Easylet last year, has been told by the council that he needs planning permission to put up the signs.

He is now refusing to remove them and has argued that the council should be working with small business instead of against them.

“I could just give up and claim benefits but I’m not. I simply can’t afford to advertise any other way.

“I'm a young lad trying to work for myself instead of sitting on my bum all day and this is what you get thrown at you.”

Kristian, who says he works every night and every weekend canvassing for new clients, continued: “The council should offer discounted rates for advertising in town centre for businesses that have been open for less than 18 months.

“Many businesses fail in the first year and the council should be helping people who are giving it a go.”

The council has denied that they have handed the businessman a fine but has said that they will be issued to persistent offenders as it is illegal to place advertising signs on the highway.

A council spokesman said: “In addition, illegal signs appearing across the borough are also an environmental problem as they can make streets and key gateways into the town look unattractive and do not create a good image for the town.

“Before and after Christmas, we issued advisory letters to a number of businesses, who were illegally placing signs on the highway asking them to remove them.”

The spokesman added that the council is committed to supporting business and have alternative ways of advertising including the roundabout sponsorship scheme.

To sign the petition visit easyletresidential.co.uk.

Comments (25)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:16pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Nick Tessla says...

Not sure I would want to do business with someone who appears to have no regard for the law.

Could the WG provide his home address so other "entrepreneurs" can stick up posters on his house and some signs on his garden.
Not sure I would want to do business with someone who appears to have no regard for the law. Could the WG provide his home address so other "entrepreneurs" can stick up posters on his house and some signs on his garden. Nick Tessla

3:42pm Thu 9 Jan 14

silverlady54 says...

It's free advertising as well as fly-posting. Most of us have to pay to advertise and as you can claim the cost legitimately against tax then I have no sympathy. Spend some time constructing one of the free websites available until you can afford your own domain. It's easy, I have done it myself and an internet presence is very useful.
It's free advertising as well as fly-posting. Most of us have to pay to advertise and as you can claim the cost legitimately against tax then I have no sympathy. Spend some time constructing one of the free websites available until you can afford your own domain. It's easy, I have done it myself and an internet presence is very useful. silverlady54

3:46pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Brick Bazooka says...

Nick Tessla wrote:
Not sure I would want to do business with someone who appears to have no regard for the law.

Could the WG provide his home address so other "entrepreneurs" can stick up posters on his house and some signs on his garden.
For once I'm on the Council's side. It's not a new rule for WBC and is quite clear on their website.

https://www.warringt
on.gov.uk/forms/form
/194/en/flyposting

Hope he gets fined.
[quote][p][bold]Nick Tessla[/bold] wrote: Not sure I would want to do business with someone who appears to have no regard for the law. Could the WG provide his home address so other "entrepreneurs" can stick up posters on his house and some signs on his garden.[/p][/quote]For once I'm on the Council's side. It's not a new rule for WBC and is quite clear on their website. https://www.warringt on.gov.uk/forms/form /194/en/flyposting Hope he gets fined. Brick Bazooka

3:47pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Brick Bazooka says...

Oh, and I hope more people fill in the coucil form than your silly petition :)
Oh, and I hope more people fill in the coucil form than your silly petition :) Brick Bazooka

4:00pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Brick Bazooka says...

Nick Tessla wrote:
Not sure I would want to do business with someone who appears to have no regard for the law.

Could the WG provide his home address so other "entrepreneurs" can stick up posters on his house and some signs on his garden.
WG doesn't need to post his address. The internet provides it for free

http://www.nominet.o
rg.uk/whois/lookup?q
uery=easyletresident
ial.co.uk
[quote][p][bold]Nick Tessla[/bold] wrote: Not sure I would want to do business with someone who appears to have no regard for the law. Could the WG provide his home address so other "entrepreneurs" can stick up posters on his house and some signs on his garden.[/p][/quote]WG doesn't need to post his address. The internet provides it for free http://www.nominet.o rg.uk/whois/lookup?q uery=easyletresident ial.co.uk Brick Bazooka

4:13pm Thu 9 Jan 14

grey_man says...

Next up he'll be petitioning HMRC who are holding back his businesses by asking him to pay tax.
Next up he'll be petitioning HMRC who are holding back his businesses by asking him to pay tax. grey_man

4:27pm Thu 9 Jan 14

mr dave k says...

hey this guy is very young and trying to get off his bum and make something of himself,i have noticed his signs,non of which are on anyones house or garden,bigger companies use the same practice ,however the £3000 fine is a drop in the ocean for house builders like David Wilson homes,local people should be giving his and other local business ,a chance,not slatting him over it,we are still in recession,and its about time,you negative lot ,woke up and pulled your heads out of the sand
hey this guy is very young and trying to get off his bum and make something of himself,i have noticed his signs,non of which are on anyones house or garden,bigger companies use the same practice ,however the £3000 fine is a drop in the ocean for house builders like David Wilson homes,local people should be giving his and other local business ,a chance,not slatting him over it,we are still in recession,and its about time,you negative lot ,woke up and pulled your heads out of the sand mr dave k

4:35pm Thu 9 Jan 14

mr dave k says...

in relation to the councils comment ,at 5k a year to sponsor a round about,this is the reason no companies are sponsoring them and there all left empty,as small business cannot afford that kind of money,
the country has no money,it's all gone funding pillocks in local government,who sit in offices and are paid,to wonder around town looking for companies putting up signs
in relation to the councils comment ,at 5k a year to sponsor a round about,this is the reason no companies are sponsoring them and there all left empty,as small business cannot afford that kind of money, the country has no money,it's all gone funding pillocks in local government,who sit in offices and are paid,to wonder around town looking for companies putting up signs mr dave k

4:47pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Nick Tessla says...

Nick Tessla wrote:
Not sure I would want to do business with someone who appears to have no regard for the law.

Could the WG provide his home address so other "entrepreneurs" can stick up posters on his house and some signs on his garden.
I withdraw that last remark - it would be wrong for other businesses to sink to his level.
[quote][p][bold]Nick Tessla[/bold] wrote: Not sure I would want to do business with someone who appears to have no regard for the law. Could the WG provide his home address so other "entrepreneurs" can stick up posters on his house and some signs on his garden.[/p][/quote]I withdraw that last remark - it would be wrong for other businesses to sink to his level. Nick Tessla

4:51pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Mr Young says...

He has a website, and what looks like a shop. Seeing this has made me instantly remember the companies name which is a good thing... but I would never use them after seeing this article. The company comes across as amature.
He has a website, and what looks like a shop. Seeing this has made me instantly remember the companies name which is a good thing... but I would never use them after seeing this article. The company comes across as amature. Mr Young

4:53pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Mr Young says...

Just like my spelling :-/
* Amateur
Just like my spelling :-/ * Amateur Mr Young

4:56pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Nick Tessla says...

Mr Young wrote:
Just like my spelling :-/
* Amateur
I assumed you meant immature - for throwing a hissy fit, like a spoilt toddler,when told off.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Young[/bold] wrote: Just like my spelling :-/ * Amateur[/p][/quote]I assumed you meant immature - for throwing a hissy fit, like a spoilt toddler,when told off. Nick Tessla

5:13pm Thu 9 Jan 14

wa1 resident says...

he is looking to build a brand in his own way, with actions which many won't agree with, but which is certainly giving him column inches, eg - with the guardian helping to promote the website and with their previous article for this company - http://www.warringto
nguardian.co.uk/news
/business_news_legal
/10767935.Young_entr
epreneur_on_the_road
_to_success/
The poverty claim may be a bit rich, given the recent article claiming he was on the road to success, and he has an office and states he lists his multiple properties on the many expensive national websites including rightmove etc...
he could just copy lloyds, they get away with dumping a van on cockhedge roundabout and the land heading into kingsway, not to mention the various signs/banners including the rylands/orford lane site!
he is looking to build a brand in his own way, with actions which many won't agree with, but which is certainly giving him column inches, eg - with the guardian helping to promote the website and with their previous article for this company - http://www.warringto nguardian.co.uk/news /business_news_legal /10767935.Young_entr epreneur_on_the_road _to_success/ The poverty claim may be a bit rich, given the recent article claiming he was on the road to success, and he has an office and states he lists his multiple properties on the many expensive national websites including rightmove etc... he could just copy lloyds, they get away with dumping a van on cockhedge roundabout and the land heading into kingsway, not to mention the various signs/banners including the rylands/orford lane site! wa1 resident

5:31pm Thu 9 Jan 14

GoneNow says...

I used to work for a large national housebuilder who put posters up similar to this because it was cheaper to pay the council fines than pay for advertising
I used to work for a large national housebuilder who put posters up similar to this because it was cheaper to pay the council fines than pay for advertising GoneNow

9:48pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Freeborn John says...

That's a nice picture of the gentleman concerned...and a sign he just happened to have with him.
I see what you did there Mr Johnstone, you'll go far!
That's a nice picture of the gentleman concerned...and a sign he just happened to have with him. I see what you did there Mr Johnstone, you'll go far! Freeborn John

1:00am Fri 10 Jan 14

warrington_biker says...

According to his website, he rents out multiple properties. Not short for cash then..


http://easyletreside
ntial.co.uk/About_Ea
sylet___Warrington_L
etting_Agent.html:
"As a multiple property landlord myself, I understand the stresses and time involved in managing a rented property, "
According to his website, he rents out multiple properties. Not short for cash then.. http://easyletreside ntial.co.uk/About_Ea sylet___Warrington_L etting_Agent.html: "As a multiple property landlord myself, I understand the stresses and time involved in managing a rented property, " warrington_biker

10:04am Fri 10 Jan 14

mrdaveyasdfr says...

Fly posting can make an area look a mess. The council are right to intervene.
I wouldn't want to deal with a company that has disrespect for the local residents and one that thinks it can choose which rules and laws to follow. Just because he doesn't like the advertising options the council offer does not mean he should break the law in protest.

I believe this is more about wanting free advertising rather than not being able to pay for it.

I hope local residents remove the posters if the council don't do it. If they do they should fine him and charge for the removal.
One thing I do find annoying is when the council put up posters in the same way.
Have they had permission or do they think they don't have to follow the rules?
Fly posting can make an area look a mess. The council are right to intervene. I wouldn't want to deal with a company that has disrespect for the local residents and one that thinks it can choose which rules and laws to follow. Just because he doesn't like the advertising options the council offer does not mean he should break the law in protest. I believe this is more about wanting free advertising rather than not being able to pay for it. I hope local residents remove the posters if the council don't do it. If they do they should fine him and charge for the removal. One thing I do find annoying is when the council put up posters in the same way. Have they had permission or do they think they don't have to follow the rules? mrdaveyasdfr

10:10am Fri 10 Jan 14

mrdaveyasdfr says...

mr dave k wrote:
hey this guy is very young and trying to get off his bum and make something of himself,i have noticed his signs,non of which are on anyones house or garden,bigger companies use the same practice ,however the £3000 fine is a drop in the ocean for house builders like David Wilson homes,local people should be giving his and other local business ,a chance,not slatting him over it,we are still in recession,and its about time,you negative lot ,woke up and pulled your heads out of the sand
So you are happy for any one to fly-post any time any where?
How is that going to help Warrington and it residents be successful?

Agreed big companies shouldn't be allowed to do it and if they continue then the council should make it a cash cow at £3000 a time and charge them costs of removal and admin. I'm sure when the costs out-way any advantage then it will stop.
[quote][p][bold]mr dave k[/bold] wrote: hey this guy is very young and trying to get off his bum and make something of himself,i have noticed his signs,non of which are on anyones house or garden,bigger companies use the same practice ,however the £3000 fine is a drop in the ocean for house builders like David Wilson homes,local people should be giving his and other local business ,a chance,not slatting him over it,we are still in recession,and its about time,you negative lot ,woke up and pulled your heads out of the sand[/p][/quote]So you are happy for any one to fly-post any time any where? How is that going to help Warrington and it residents be successful? Agreed big companies shouldn't be allowed to do it and if they continue then the council should make it a cash cow at £3000 a time and charge them costs of removal and admin. I'm sure when the costs out-way any advantage then it will stop. mrdaveyasdfr

12:37pm Fri 10 Jan 14

mr dave k says...

The council have spent a fortune on putting places for advertising on roundabouts,but due to greed no business can afford to use them at 5k a year,hence they are all empty,the only ones in use are ones being used by the councils own department, i would bring in a scheme,so that these could be used by small business for 6 months free,you would need to apply and every 6 months a draw would take place,if you get pulled out of the hat ,you get 6months free advertising space until the next draw,this would stop businesses doing things illegal,small businesses would gain,it's a win/win situation as the facilities are in place,
The council have spent a fortune on putting places for advertising on roundabouts,but due to greed no business can afford to use them at 5k a year,hence they are all empty,the only ones in use are ones being used by the councils own department, i would bring in a scheme,so that these could be used by small business for 6 months free,you would need to apply and every 6 months a draw would take place,if you get pulled out of the hat ,you get 6months free advertising space until the next draw,this would stop businesses doing things illegal,small businesses would gain,it's a win/win situation as the facilities are in place, mr dave k

9:55am Sat 11 Jan 14

Take2toTango says...

Refusing to take them down because he believes he is right. Imagine buying a property through him. If every small business did the same thing, imagine how the town would look!
Refusing to take them down because he believes he is right. Imagine buying a property through him. If every small business did the same thing, imagine how the town would look! Take2toTango

10:46am Sun 12 Jan 14

MAD 4 IT says...

WARRINGTON BOROUGH COUNCIL SHOULD HIT HIM WITH MORE "HEFTY" FINES,THOUSANDS I MEAN !
WARRINGTON BOROUGH COUNCIL SHOULD HIT HIM WITH MORE "HEFTY" FINES,THOUSANDS I MEAN ! MAD 4 IT

11:41am Sun 12 Jan 14

mr dave k says...

maybe like some young men of today,he should go stealing from peoples homes,car's and garden sheds for a living,
short hours,no overheads and if he gets fined,it will no doubt be about £80.00
and much less stress than trying to get his business off the ground,
maybe like some young men of today,he should go stealing from peoples homes,car's and garden sheds for a living, short hours,no overheads and if he gets fined,it will no doubt be about £80.00 and much less stress than trying to get his business off the ground, mr dave k

12:19pm Sun 12 Jan 14

The Maestro says...

It's £80 fine per sign which means he's put up 40signs, he clearly has no regard for the law all businesses have to abide to. Now he's been caught he's claiming to be the victim when really he's the offender, take them down avoid the fine and rethink his advertising strategy
It's £80 fine per sign which means he's put up 40signs, he clearly has no regard for the law all businesses have to abide to. Now he's been caught he's claiming to be the victim when really he's the offender, take them down avoid the fine and rethink his advertising strategy The Maestro

12:31pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Nick Tessla says...

mr dave k wrote:
maybe like some young men of today,he should go stealing from peoples homes,car's and garden sheds for a living,
short hours,no overheads and if he gets fined,it will no doubt be about £80.00
and much less stress than trying to get his business off the ground,
Are you suggesting that burglary is the only alternative, I trust not.

Perhaps he could act like the majority of young men- including "hard-working entrepreneurs" and act within the law - rather than bleating like a toddler caught with their hand in the biscuit jar when caught.

I trust he is paying his VAT and other taxes correctly and will not be whinging about that in a few months time.
[quote][p][bold]mr dave k[/bold] wrote: maybe like some young men of today,he should go stealing from peoples homes,car's and garden sheds for a living, short hours,no overheads and if he gets fined,it will no doubt be about £80.00 and much less stress than trying to get his business off the ground,[/p][/quote]Are you suggesting that burglary is the only alternative, I trust not. Perhaps he could act like the majority of young men- including "hard-working entrepreneurs" and act within the law - rather than bleating like a toddler caught with their hand in the biscuit jar when caught. I trust he is paying his VAT and other taxes correctly and will not be whinging about that in a few months time. Nick Tessla

9:50am Tue 14 Jan 14

WAFiver says...

To (mis)quote Monty Python;
"He's not a businessman, he's a very naughty boy..."
To (mis)quote Monty Python; "He's not a businessman, he's a very naughty boy..." WAFiver

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree