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Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

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Colin Bland

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:13 pm

Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

So today we were working in our home town like we have for the last 17 years fitting a fascia sign from our portable tower scaffold with kickboards fitted erected by 2 pasma trained operatives coned off on a 15ft pavement when a council official approaches us and asks for our pavement licence. :awkward:
He then makes us take the tower down while he watches and tells us its ok to carry on fitting the sign from ladders !!!!!!

Has anyone else had this ? is there a work around because i am sure that not many of you are paying £75 per linear metre of frontage with a minimum of 6metres plus an £195 inspection fee plus £100 per linear metre refundable Bond plus all the paperwork that goes with a pavement licence.
In my opinion a very backward step and just puts the health and safety of everyone at risk.
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Kevin Mahoney

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:44 pm

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

Absolutely ridiculous state of affairs. It would appear that you’ve been caught between two very different sets of rules, one from the HSE which will just about let you use a ladder for changing a light bulb & nothing else, & a local authority which can smell an earner like a relative at a funeral. I am just about to buy a tower to avoid dodgy installs but if we have to pass these costs onto our clients, we’ll never need it as all our jobs will go to somebody willing to do it off a wobbly step ladder.
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Kevin Mahoney

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:00 pm

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

Just sounded out a mate of mine who runs a large scaffolding company. He reckons the council wins every time. Our council charges £50 for a weekly permit which isn’t too greedy, sounds like your local council have got a staff party coming up
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Robert Lambie

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:40 pm

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

I think H&S is required in most instances of daily work, more so in public places.
I also think that licences and access fees can be justified when required or hefty fines imposed. Not because I think our customers will easily accept them, they won't. nor do I particularly want to have to pay them. but the reality is unless some form of Policing is done on our high streets, then it is pretty much a free for all for cowboys to keep putting up their Correx Fascias with nails and double-sided tape. If policing is introduced, then wages must be covered by the fees.

Now that said, Colins experience of having to get rid of the scaffold and use a ladder is complete nonsense for this job in and i can see no reason why/how this could be deemed safer unless the tower was an obstruction to the public to the point they may have had to step onto the road to get around or something. Then fair enough, but even then, why not access given after 7pm when less footfall or stipulate a pedestrian clear way must be coned/taped off....
anyway, "maybe it was Engleberts first day on the job and was just a little over keen to use his new notepad and pen". :awkward:
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Colin Bland

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:31 pm

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

I'm all for driving the cowboys out of our industry but I see this action having an adverse effect as it will push us towards working at night (with the drunks) or working off ladders both of which are not as safe as our tower during the day. This is just a money grabbing exercise which will ultimately put people at risk. The associated costs aren't even reasonable and it has already cost us work as phase two of the job was a higher level install impossible off ladders, when I explained to the client we would need to install at night and charge her some overtime for my mate she said she would think again
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David Hammond

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:51 pm

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

You were probably unlucky to get caught.

Do you now start doing it 100% by the book, and charge accordingly?
Or
Carry on chancing it? Maybe get told to stop once every blue moon?

Why would ladders be ok, but not a mobile tower?
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Robert Lambie

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:08 pm

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

I do not think its a case of "doing everything by the book" common sense comes down to most things.
Colin's men have all their papers/permits, coned off the area as should be and so on. right there is best practices being exercised. As I said, I do not agree with the council lad enforcing his/their answer to the so-called problem.
But I have come across it a more and more working in shopping centres where we can only get access after 9pm when everything is closed and normally means us working till 3am or longer. The argument they have here is, if you cannot get in until this time, then nor will anyone trying to take your business by doing your customers job.
It may well be that some councils are adopting the same policies as the shopping centres. and that doesn't just stop at time regulations, they want risk assessments, method statements, CSCS, Ipaf etc etc this is where cowboy joe and his team will hit a brick wall.

Just to confirm, I am in no way saying I agree with it all, nor do I agree with the huge fees, they want money for nothing, to be honest, and i too am on the receiving end of it... I am just playing Devils Advocate... honest! :awkward:
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David Hammond

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Post Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:02 am

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

I agree with you Rob.

If you did apply for the licence, there's a few hundred quid on the price compared to a cowboy outfit, who just chance it..

99% of our customers would laugh their socks off.

The other consideration is how long it takes to get said paperwork?
Will they cross reference your application with planning, requiring more time & money?
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Phill Fenton

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Post Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:49 am

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

Councils are run by idiots. Edinburgh council are planning to ban all vehicles from the city centre (after consultation of course - then they'll do exactly what they planned to do all along :rollseyes: ).

So how will sign makers manage to fit signs in the City Centre in future? (Not to mention delivery drivers, maintenance workers, Ambulances, Fire Engines blah blah blah... :bangshead:)
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Colin Bland

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Post Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:39 am

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

Yes David on the form you have to put if planning permission has been granted for the development they also need 10 working days to process - I would like to have 10 working days to make the sign ! But we can't all have what we want
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Alex Crosbie

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Post Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:22 am

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

Playing devils advocate, if you had declined the council workers request to take the scaffold down straight away stating that the sign is not in a safe condition to be left would the council worker have shaken you off the scaffold

Is there any fine that could be imposed If you do not comply?
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Hugh Potter

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Post Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:35 pm

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

Howdy Pardners, for this reason I largely avoid high street installs, my local high street has narrow and uneven footpaths which make working off anything but a ladder impossible or impractical at best. Scaffolding is often not a sensible answer as the working height of the old end of town facias is barely 7ft, the 1st rise would be head height and I'd be working at my feet!

I don't like to think of myself as a cowboy, rarely carry my guns into town and usually leave the horse at home too, but on the occasional jobs I do do, I'm usually in and out in a few hours, trestles and boards for the low height work, occasionally a ladder, rare occasions I'll hire a cherry picker or platform (not high st) and on very rare occasions I'll get scaffolding in and they deal with the licences. I have no formal training etc. on any of the towers etc. Common sense is applied in generous quantities, but I guess that still makes me a cowboy!

Only once have I been challenged about using a ladder and blocking off part of the pavement with cones by someone with a badge and clipboard, I explained that on a 6ft wide path, I'd taken barely 3, there was enough room for a double buggy or mobility scooter terrorist to get past, if I were to put up scaffolding and apply for a footpath and parking bay closures, the paperwork would take longer than the job, luckily I reckon he was having a good day as he told me to carry on, be sure to tidy up and be on my way as soon as safe to do so!
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Phill Fenton

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Post Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:59 pm

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

I have a pavement sign I usually put out that says "Mobility Scooter users drive under ladder at own risk" - that keeps me in the clear :awkward:
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Colin Bland

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Post Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:12 pm

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

Was thinking we might de brand the van - can't fine us if we are incognito
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DavidRogers

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Post Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:55 am

Re: Mobile tower Pavement Licence - Rant

Had similar to the original - jobsworth came by and flashed his council lanyard round his neck at us. Jabbering on about "scaffolding permit...pavement damage--blah, blah."

This was a 2 tier mobile platform...it's clearly not the type of scaffolding (rigid, construction grade) the legislation is there for. It might LOOK like it to a numptie that wouldn't even identify which department he worked for - that he was clearly finished for the day yet stood and watched us for a further 10 minutes, phone in hand.

Ignored him & got on with the task in hand

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