Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Brighton: Relentless on self-promotion

Sure, superclubs which hire troops of people to hand out thousands and thousands of glossy fliers can create a terrible mess of litter. Surely, though, there has to be a better and less throttling-small-venues-and-freedom-of-speech way of addressing the problem than a blanket ban on handing out free leaflets right through the centre of Brighton?


Anonymous said...

manchester have been using the same tactics for ages - makes me very very angry and i've been threatened with a fine many times now, even when inviting people to free food and ifo days when we were picking up any dropped flyers. grrrr. hoping it gets challenged in court soon

duckie said...

Calm down. Simon's rather overstated the situation here. There isn't going to be a "ban" in Brighton. But anyone who wants to flyer for anything other than political, religious or charity reasons i.e. profit making events, is going to have to buy a licence to do it, at a minimum of £100 per annum. So freedom of speech should be fine.

Can't really see the need for the licence actually. Surely you just need a nosey parker council officer wandering around looking for excessive littering. Which they're going to have to do anyway to check people are abiding by the terms of their licence.

simon h b said...

Maybe the word "blanket" is overstatement, but it's still a throttle on free speech. For example, what about if Tony Benn is doing a reading at a bookshop and there's a cover fee? Suddenly, there's a licence fee to be found.

And, regardless of however it's phrased, the fact there are limits put on people disseminating information in a public place has got to be a bad thing.

The problem is that the council is too lazy to actually apply the law that already exists to deal with the perceived problem - that of litter. If people are dropping rubbish on the pavement, then fine the people breaking the existing laws against littering, instead of introducing new ones.

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