Firm facing bill for painted footprints?

A MAJOR camping firm could be slapped with a fine within days of opening a new Suffolk store after it daubed a series of footprints along town centre pavements.

Laurence Cawley

A MAJOR camping firm could be slapped with a fine within days of opening a new Suffolk store after it daubed a series of footprints along town centre pavements.

The opening of Blacks in the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday was attended by the new mayor of St Edmundsbury Pat Warby and a scout group which displayed its skills on an outdoor climbing wall.

But yesterday it emerged the newly opened outdoor store had ended up in hot water after it painted a series of footprints on pavements stretching from just outside the store of its rival Cotswold up towards the Arc shopping centre.


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St Edmundsbury Borough Council was alerted to the issue and immediately dispatched an officer to go and investigate.

The white footprints were printed on the pavements of the town centre between historic Abbeygate Street and St Andrew's Street South.

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The council believes the footprints, which were painted between 15 and 20 yards apart, were done with waterproof chalk because they had withstood the weekend's downpours.

Steve Peters, town centre manager, said: “This action is unacceptable from Blacks and in poor taste. We are all for marketing, and the need to work together, but to the benefit of all, not to the expense of others.

“It is obviously up to the Borough Council what action they may deem necessary. The offending material should be removed at the earliest opportunity from the town centre.”

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We are investigating what material has been used and how best to clean it off. We do not condone this type of activity and we will be discussing the consequences with Blacks.”

She said the council was unable to comment further at the current stage because it was still in talks with Blacks over the incident.

However, it is understood one avenue being looked at by the council is fining the outdoor firm for graffiti. It is also understood that Blacks will be sending out its own cleaners with a jet washer to clear away the footprints.

No one from Blacks was available to comment yesterday.

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