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News - 18 January 2008

Council gets tough on leafleting to reduce litter

The flyers, leaflets and stickers that litter the city centre streets could cease to be a nuisance in Brighton & Hove. The council is planning to introduce new enforcement measures to control their distribution.

Dropped leaflets, cards and flyers are one of the major causes of litter in the city centre, but until now it has been difficult for the council to prosecute those responsible.

However, using new powers under the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act, the council is planning to designate areas where the distribution of free printed material, such as flyers, free newspapers, stickers, leaflets and cards will be illegal unless the distributer has been granted a licence.

Those caught breaking the law face fines of £75 which could rise to £2,500 for persistent offenders.

The proposals, which will be considered by the council’s environment committee on January 24, will make it illegal to distribute flyers in the worst affected areas of the city, including North Laine, The Lanes, North Street, West Street, Western Road, Queens Road, St James Street and the Seafront from Dukes Mound to the peace statue, without a licence granted by the council. The licence conditions will also require the distributor to clear up any discarded material.

In addition, anyone handing out leaflets and flyers must be wearing an identification badge issued by the council.

Licences will cost £100 for a year and £50 for a one-off event, with additional badges costing £25 each.

Charities, religious and political organisations, community groups and schools will be exempt from the scheme, but must agree to clear up any discarded material.

The council has consulted widely on the proposals and received positive feed back from both local businesses and the distribution and promotion industry.

Environment Councillor Geoffrey Theobald said, “The Council recognises that handing out leaflets and flyers can be an effective form of advertising for many businesses, and we are keen to work with distributors and promoters, but we must tackle the litter problems resulting from irresponsible flyering head on.

“Flyering creates a real eyesore and this council is committed to improving the appearance of all our city streets. We are confident that these new powers will result in a huge improvement to the city centre, while still allowing responsible traders to advertise their businesses.”

In order for a licence to be granted, an applicant must agree to abide by the conditions of the licence, which will include keeping the area free of litter. Any licensed distributor who is found to be in breach of the conditions may have their licence revoked.

The Business Forum has supported the Council over this action. Click on the link below to download a copy of a letter sent to Cllr Theobald.

Click here to download Letter to Cllr Theobald re "Flyering"

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