Bog Brither | 02.10.2006 17:49 | Repression
"Clean Neighbourhoods" glossy flyer - oh the irony!
We either have to stump up the cash for a permit (and cross our fingers that they approve of our literature) or shut up. Or we could ignore the law, and be fined up to £2500!
Quoting from their press release:
"Warning to distributors
Nottingham City Council is getting tough on flyer distributors as it continues its bid to make our city's streets cleaner.
New powers are being introduced to the streets of Nottingham to control the free distribution of printed material and as a result the amount of littering on our streets.
Designation of an area requires a person to obtain the Council's consent before distribution can take place. If a person fails to get that consent and distributes material in designated areas an offence is committed for which they can be fined a maximum of £2,500 or a Fixed Penalty Notice can be issued. Distributors can also have the flyers/material seized if no consent has been given.
The Council can only designate land where it is satisfied that the land is being defaced by the discarding of free printed matter. Areas chosen are: Main Street, Bulwell; Mansfeld Road and Gregory Boulevard; Radford Road, Hyson Green; Southchurch, Clifton and the City Centre."
Ironically, the flyer they distributed this information on (a scan of which may be seen above) is glossy print on rather non-recycled looking paper. So presumably by "environment" they're only talking in terms of protecting that which financially affects their operations and keeps shoppers happy, not actually giving a damn about the planet!
What a delightfully ironic situation for campaigners giving out leaflets on REAL environmental issues! (I'm thinking NAIL, Plane Stupid, Friends of the Earth...)
Concerned citizens can vent their disgust about this ridiculously bad legislation to [ firstname.lastname@example.org] - though I wouldn't expect them to listen without a mass public campaign.
Hey, I know! Maybe we could print up some attention-grabbing leaflets and hand them out in Market Squ... D'OOOOOH!!
GROUND RULES TO STAMP OUT LITTER
I had read this and the original council announcement and notice the move had created a fair amount of disquiet amongst people concerned about environment, politics and social issues etc
You will note [below] that I had written to Barrie James in the Public Health Dept of the Council to seek clarification about the exceptions the law allows for. He now confirms these.
It is a shame that these had not be advertised. The concerns a few of us have, is that in the absence of such information, wardens and council officers of various sorts would be under-informed that to give someone a leaflet, outlining a political concern, could still result in action / arrest. Obvious examples of the NAIL incinerator campaign, asylum issues, Sharphill Woods development etc etc could all fall foul of these directions.
Personally, I think the direction is proper in view of the amount of waste and commercial literature that is generated by clubs and shops etc. and is in line with the aims of 'Agenda 21'
However, I do hope that the omission of any mention of the distribution of literature of a political nature, by the council, might not have been done delierately. Thus to enable the council to use these orders as a tool to diminish political dissent on issues the local authorities might have found inconvenient, viz: the incinerator. But they wouldn't do that, would they?
This is the question and reply I had made of Barrie James in the Public Health Dept of the Council
Dear Mr Lodge
Thank you for your e-mail reaging the distribution of free printed matter.
The legislation came in to force on the 26th Sept and I am not certain where the date 16th Oct came from. What I did say was that we would spend the first couple of weeks making sure that distributors were aware of the need for a permit. After that time we will expect applications to have been made and if not then enforcement action could commence.
You are correct in your belief that there are exemtions and they are the ones you list in your e-mail. In terms of political purposes the Sec of State has suggested a wide interpretation be made and that the intention is not to inhibit thye right of freedom of expression and freedom of thought, conscience enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights.
I hope this is of help but please do not hesitate to contact me if any further information is required.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: alan lodge [mailto: email@example.com]
> Sent: 05 October 2006 14:45
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 seeking clarification.
> Barrie James - Service Manager
> Public Health
> Lawrence House
> Talbot Street
> NG1 5NT
> RE: Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
> Dear Mr Barrie James
> From your announcement at:
> Nottingham City Council Announcement :: Warning to distributors
> and today's article in the Nottingham Evening Post I note these regulation are to be in force from the 16 October 2006.
> I understand that there is much concern about litter created from such commercial activities.
This of course results in increased amounts of rubbish for disposal and clearly provision is made to attempt to deal with this.
> However on reading the act, I notice that there are some exceptions, that are not referred to in your announcement, or indeed, any report I have so far read.
> Having looked at the act, I note that there is an exemption under sect 23 (4a)(4b) Schedule 3A, where the distribution is for charitable and political purposes.
> Free distribution of printed matter
> 23 "SCHEDULE 3A
> FREE DISTRIBUTION OF PRINTED MATTER ON DESIGNATED LAND
> Offence of unauthorised distribution
> (4) Nothing in this paragraph applies to the distribution of printed matter-
> (a) by or on behalf of a charity within the meaning of the Charities Act 1993, where the
printed matter relates to or is intended for the benefit of
> the charity;
> (b) where the distribution is for political purposes or for the purposes of a religion or belief.
> I would appreciate your views if I have this right, or, if there are other issues I have failed to grasp.
> In sum, within your designated area under the 'Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005', are there exceptions for charitable and political purposes, for the distribution of printed material.
> I am grateful for any help with this matter.
> Alan Lodge
So, does that 'do it?'
Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham. UK
Member of the National Union of Journalists [No: 014345]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"
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