Charity banner for Portchester car-boot fundraiser broke the rules says councillor

GONE The banner donated by Key2 Group which was taken down by the county council. At the front are, left, Shirley Pearce of Macmillan and Lesley Keating and Mike Keating from Key2 Group.
GONE The banner donated by Key2 Group which was taken down by the county council. At the front are, left, Shirley Pearce of Macmillan and Lesley Keating and Mike Keating from Key2 Group.
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A BANNER advertising a cancer charity’s car boot sale was taken down – because a councillor said it broke the rules.

As previously reported, organisers thought the Macmillan Cancer Support sign had been stolen from a roundabout near The Seagull pub in Portchester.

UNDER FIRE Cllr Roger Price

UNDER FIRE Cllr Roger Price

This was the second time a publicity banner had been taken, and after the first time, the Key2 Group in Waterlooville donated a new banner, which was itself promptly removed.

But rather than being the victim of petty criminals or pranksters, the charity has discovered that local councillor Roger Price had contacted Hampshire County Council to report the second banner near The Seagull.

The council then took it down as, under the Highways Act 1980, it will not authorise any non-road signs. It is not known who removed the first one.

The charity believed it had received permission from the council, but Cllr Price said the officer responsible did not have the authority to allow the sign.

Cllr Price said: ‘No banners should be on public highway furniture. My view is it’s county policy and it’s up to them to remove it.

‘I’m not worried whether it’s a charity or a business or whatever it is. It makes no difference.

‘It’s advertising. I said to the council that the banners were up and told them to deal with it.

‘It was wrong to give them permission in the first place.’

Without the advertising banner the charity said sales at the car boot sale on Cornaway Lane have slumped from £960 to £600. Organisers say the sales will continue to run every Saturday for 11 weeks.

Shirley Pearce, fundraiser for Macmillan, said: ‘He (Cllr Price) came on to the field wanting to know how we had permission and why we put up a banner to start with. I was absolutely furious. He caused us so much trouble.

‘So many people rely on the arrow to show where the car boot sale is – people were asking if it was cancelled.’