Newton Stewart’s community council has called for a solution to help tackle unlawful banners in the town.
The banners, advertising local weight loss clubs, pubs and events, began to crop up on railings at Albert Street Gardens and the roundabout around a year ago.
When Cree Valley Community Council began to receive complaints from locals about the use of public space for commercial advertising, advice was sought from the local authority on how to have them removed.
However, the council said it was a specific planning issue which should be raised with the local office. It was also advised that such signs required permission unless they were for an event taking place within 28 days – permission none of the signs reportedly have.
At Monday’s Cree Valley Community Council meeting, chairman Tom Greenaway said an invitation to have a representative from planning attend and explain the guidelines had been turned down on the grounds that staff cannot comment on individual issues.
He said: “We just can’t seem to identify which button to press to resolve this issue.
“I don’t think can leave italone. We need someone to tell us the situation here – is it allowed? Is it a free for all? If we went and removed them, we’d be done for theft, vandalism, allsorts of thing so where do we go from here? What’s the penalty and who enforces it? That’s all we want to know.”
Elected member Alistair Geddes said: “If people are using council property in this way, what is the council’s stance on this? These are all simple questions we should be able to have answered but it’s all been totally overcomplicated by the council.”
Council member Richard Kay suggested action would be taken immeditately if such banners were placed on the newly-refurbished McMillan Hall’s railings.
It was agreed to contact the authority once again to seek answers.