New Forest District Council apologises for taking down New Milton Queen's platinum jubilee event posters
NEW Forest District Council apologised after “overzealous” enforcement officers ripped down posters for New Milton’s platinum jubilee celebrations.
Alan Watson, chair of the town’s Lions club organising committee, had put up the promotions last Tuesday for Friday's main event on signposts in the town.
But he was horrified to discover they were removed within hours, with the suggestion it was illegal for them to be placed on street furniture.
“It turns out this was an overzealous enforcement officer who clearly hadn’t taken heed of the government’s guidance to be lenient on such things for the jubilee,” Mr Watson told the A&T.
“These posters in our experience ensure that the largest number of people get to know about and attend an event and without them, we just cannot be sure of the attendance at Friday’s New Milton platinum jubilee event.”
Mr Watson added he always ensured such promotions were only displayed just over a week before an event and taken down the day after.
A complaint was made to NFDC, and the chief executive contacted Mr Watson on Monday to apologise for the error.
An NFDC spokesperson told the A&T: “We have been made aware of our officers removing some promotional jubilee posters last week, for an event taking place in New Milton.
“Understandably, this has created upset in the community and we are sorry for the decision that was made that didn’t respond to the unique nature of these special celebrations and the role of authorities to support platinum jubilee community events.”
Having accepted the apology, Mr Watson said he intended to put back as many posters as possible in the run-up to the event.
The issue came after health and safety reasons forced organisers to relocate the main jubilee event from Barton clifftop to Fawcett’s Field and then to the recreation ground. The date was also changed from Thursday to Friday.
The town council has contributed over £5,500 to the event, including a £3,500 grant and provision of ground staff throughout the holiday weekend.
Amenities committee chair Cllr Geoff Blunden said: “We really do thank the Lions for all the work they’ve done and appreciate the challenges they’ve overcome.”