Labour hits out at council's 'Las Vegas style' billboard plan

Posted On 21 May 2010 at 1:10 pm

Plans to sell advertising on billboards across Brighton and Hove have been slammed as “appalling” by opposition councillors.

The city council is considering selling advertising at a swathe of sites, including “iconic gateways and structures”, along the seafront, and on toilets, litter bins and car parks.

The plans have already been condemned as likely to damage local media businesses – and now Labour says it will be mounting a strong challenge to them.

Labour leader Gill Mitchell said: “These proposals sound appalling and will blight our beautiful City. I would urge the Conservatives not to do this.

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“Brighton and Hove is not for sale.”

Meanwhile Community Base, whose application to sell advertising space on its Queens Road premises was turned down by the council’s planning committee, is hoping this will be reversed.

It has appealed, and a fresh application for a billboard on its north facing wall has been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council, and is expected to be decided by the planning committee on June 9.

Director Colin Chalmers said in the light of this, the council’s own plans to use billboard advertising were “ironic”.

He said: “When we first got permission for the billboard in 2004, on of the points we made was that we are not in a conservation area – but across the road from us inside the West Hill Conservation Area the council sells advertising already, on lamp posts.

“So the council gets permission for its own advertising. We thought that was a bit unfair, and we still do.”

He added: “We don’t want to turn the place into Las Vegas, but the people around us think [the billboard] is a good idea.

“We don’t allow political party advertising now either – they’re now in the same group as alcohol and porn.”

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