UNSIGHTLY posters plastered over lampposts and empty shops are to be eliminated under new powers handed to local authorities.
Fly-posting is the responsibility of Hampshire County Council, as the highway authority, but with limited resources it has not been able to target the problem.
Now fed-up councillor David Collins, who is in charge of the environment at Havant Borough Council, has been granted powers to remove fly-posters – and the same powers have been given to East Hampshire District Council in a two-year pilot scheme.
Environment rangers will be able to take down signs as well as issue on-the-spot fines to those who put them up.
Cllr Collins said: ‘It’s getting out of hand.
‘Quite a few businesses are putting posters up all around and they are not even from Havant.
‘They never take them down again and they look awful.
‘It is actually illegal but at the moment we are not allowed to take them down. To take them down we need to go through due process.
‘But from now on if we see them they will be taken down straight away.’
At last week’s economy, transport and environment decision day at the county council the way was paved for the borough and district to take over in a two-year trial.
Natalie Meagher, neighbourhood quality service manager for Havant and East Hampshire, said: ‘The idea received broad approval at last week’s meeting so we can now move forward and work out some of the finer details alongside the county council.
‘We do not expect to be taking on additional resources to do this as it should complement the work carried out by the rangers team in Havant.
‘Our rangers have the authority to issue fixed penalty notices for fly-posting and in future if a poster is causing an obstruction they will have the authority to remove.
‘There is no equivalent rangers team at East Hampshire so the process may take a little more time but we are hopeful the scheme can be rolled out across the district in a similar way.’