Council plea over Referendum fly-posting and road sign damage

The Highland Council is appealing to campaigners on both sides of the Scottish Independence Referendum and members of the public to heed the Council’s Highland Referendum Poster Policy and not fall foul of the law.

The public are being advised that only the 15 Referendum Agents registered for The Highland Council area are allowed to display referendum posters on verges and lighting columns under the Council’s ownership and control. 

Also, under The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 - Referendum Agents have been made aware that it is an offence to publish referendum material without printer / promoter details printed on it.

Individuals and groups (who are not Referendum Agents) should refrain from fly-posting stickers or daubing graffiti on Council properties, such as buildings, lamp-posts, bus shelters and street furniture. Postering by members of the public will be deemed as fly-posting and if caught the Council will prosecute offenders and seek recovery of the cost of removal.

Council officers are detecting an increasing amount of Referendum material in Highland communities.

William Gilfillan, Director of Community Services said: “The removal of posters and stickers with adhesive material is time-consuming and expensive. We echo the recent appeal from our neighbours in Moray about the damage of campaign stickers to road signs.

“They said that ‘…stickers were causing damage to road signs when Council roads staff had to remove them, and engineers claimed would lead to shortened life and significant costs for replacements. The strong adhesive used on the stickers pulls a protective layer off with it when they are removed. Road signs are made using a laminated system, and it is this top layer of clear plastic that is being damaged when road-staff peel the stickers off. This leaves the sign vulnerable to water ingress and corrosion, which shortens their life considerably.’

“As the referendum is still five weeks away this is likely to increase, so we urge campaigners to refrain from causing damage to Council property.”

Guidance is available in the Highland Referendum Poster Policy on the Council’s website.

Anyone with any concerns about Referendum fly-posting should contact the Council’s Service Point on 01349 886606.

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15 Aug 2014
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