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Birdfair banners removed from Rutland roadsides

Birdfair organisers were disappointed to find their roadside banners have been removed without warning.

Event founder Tim Appleton has used roadside advertising for more than a decade but has fallen foul of a new council policy which was adopted this year.

It states that event organisers must seek permission from Rutland County Council before putting up advertising banners on the roadside - something the Birdfair team hadn’t done.

Tim Appleton advertises the Birdfair
Tim Appleton advertises the Birdfair

Mr Appleton said: “For the last 10 years we have been putting up banners without any problems. They were always placed carefully without blocking views or pedestrians.

“The Birdfair brings in millions of pounds for the local economy and the admission goes towards a conservation project.

“It’s just so sad.”

The council has defended its decision to remove three signs from roundabouts in Oakham and one in Uppingham.

Councillor Lucy Stephenson, who is responsible for highways, said: “The new signage and street furniture policy seeks to ensure the safety of our road users by minimising distractions and ensuring clear visibility of the highway and junctions.

“We recognise the potential impact the implementation of this policy has on the Birdfair and their upset at having their publicity signs removed.

“However, we need to ensure we implement the policy fairly for all event organisers.”

The council has offered to work with the Birdfair team to find new sites for their banners in the run up to the event next week.

Anyone organising an event is urged to check the council’s new policy at www.rutland.gov.uk/signage before putting up any advertising signs around the county.

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