A CONTROVERSIAL charity banner which was taken down after a councillor called for its removal has a new home.
The Macmillan Cancer Support sign – advertising charity car boot sales – was removed from a roundabout near the Seagull pub in Cornaway Lane, Portchester, after Hampshire county councillor Roger Price said it broke the rules.
A previous banner the charity put up at the same spot was also taken down by the council.
Now fundraisers hope it will be a case of third time lucky – as their sign has been put up on a private hedge nearby, without fear of breaking council highway rules.
Volunteer Celia Creedon, of Peters Road, Locks Heath, said: ‘Our group has been holding fundraising events for Macmillan for more than 10 years and we always take great care to operate within the law.
‘We are all volunteers and we do everything by the book – we wouldn’t do anything to bring Macmillan’s name into disrepute.’
The sign was put up to advertise car boot sales organised to celebrate the charity’s centenary year.
The Fareham support group said it been granted permission from the council for the banner to be displayed on the roundabout – but that was later revoked on the grounds that it was ‘approved in error’.
Celia added: ‘We had got a licence to put the banner up.
‘It said the dates we could put it up and where we could put it.’
In an email to Macmillan fundraiser Shirley Pearce, Hampshire County Council apologised for the ‘confusion’ and ‘inconvenience’ over approval originally given for the banner to be displayed in the public highway.
Andrew Peryer, highways manager for Fareham and Gosport, wrote that it was approved in error and without his knowledge.
He added: ‘We do not usually approve advertising on the highway for safety reasons as these can present a distraction to drivers.
‘Locations such as pedestrian precincts however can be treated differently.
‘This being the case, Hampshire County Council would not issue permission.’
The next car boot sale will be held on Saturday off Cranleigh Road, Portchester, from 11am. Sellers are allowed on-site from 10am.