County council rapped after moving signs

ANGRY charity and community leaders have accused Suffolk County Council of using heavy handed tactics by removing scores of temporary signs advertising fund-raising and village events.

ANGRY charity and community leaders have accused Suffolk County Council of using heavy handed tactics by removing scores of temporary signs advertising fund-raising and village events.

The county's highway teams have launched a get-tough "verge purge" by uprooting dozens of temporary road side signs advertising community events, such as village fetes, open gardens and antique fairs.

Crews have already collected two lorry loads of signs from a number of villages in the Sudbury and Hadleigh area, and the pile of signs at county council depot in Great Waldingfield is growing daily.

Signs for an open garden day event in Leavenheath, near Sudbury, due to be held on July 6, are among first to have been snatched away during the council clampdown.


You may also want to watch:


The event is being held to raise funds for the Suffolk and Essex Small Animal Welfare(SESAW), which is based in the village.

Maggie Jackam, who runs the centre currently caring for an array of animals including sheep, donkeys, guinea pigs and lamas, said: "I think the council is being over the top about this. The signs were at both end of the village and were professionally done, but they have been taken away without any notice.

Most Read

"People in the village have worked hard for months to put on this event, but passers-by will not know anything about it now, which will hit us hard. We run this centre on a voluntary basis and we rely on these sort of events for funds, without them we wouldn't survive. The signs would have only been up for about a week so I don't see the harm in that."

Notices advertising a music festival in Clare carrying the logo of Suffolk County Council, which is sponsoring the event, have also been removed, along with signs advertising a village fete in Assington, and an antique fair and music event in Long Melford.

Long Melford's county councillor Richard Kemp said: "Small community and charity events will suffer from this clampdown because of a loss of publicity. We are holding a music event on the green on Saturday night and I think that will suffer now the signs have gone.

"The council has had complaints about these signs cluttering up the roadsides and it is doing what it sees as its duty, but I think this is a bit over the top.

"The council should differentiate between the commercial signs that are seen on a permanent basis and the small signs advertising community events that are only up for a week or so. This does seem heavy handed because these type of events need some type of advertising."

Andrew Guttridge, Suffolk County Council's highways manager, said: "Although we understand that event organisers want to promote their events widely, the county council is obliged to remove illegal road signs. 

"Not only can they be a danger to motorists by obstructing visibility but they can also distract their attention, both of which can cause accidents. It is possible for events to get authorised direction signs through authorised providers such as the AA."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus