Promoters claim Somerset is too strict on fly posting

Event organisers in Somerset claim local councils are being inflexible in enforcing the rules on fly posting.

Putting up posters to advertise an event is illegal, but organisers in the county say exceptions should be made for promoting small local events.

Local authorities say they must uphold the law and "cannot differentiate between charity or village events".

Promoters caught fly posting are given seven days to remove signage. The current maximum fine is £2,500.

Robin Smith, from Puriton Parish Church, said he has been told to take down posters advertising church events.

"We regularly put this little A4 poster on telegraph poles, not hundreds of them but half a dozen around the village, and then we are threatened with fines if we leave them up," he said.

"There's nothing garish or horrible about them - the vicar does them for us - they're just advertising a quiz or a Christmas fair."

'Threatening letters'

Dan Smith, a concert promoter from Bridgwater, said if Sedgemoor District Council continued to fine him for putting up posters he would stop promoting events in the town.

"We've had threatening letters, we've had court action and each poster that we put up they say that we could be subject to a £75 fine," he said.

"In the last two years I've paid in the region of about £700 in fines just for advertising around the area.

"So we will be taking our gigs and concerts elsewhere to Yeovil or Torquay where they're a little bit more accommodating than Sedgemoor."

The Conservative-run Sedgemoor District Council said it followed "national policy regarding to fly posting".

"The procedure is that we would write to the organisers, asking them to remove signs within seven days.

"We cannot differentiate between charity or village events."

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