Take a hard look at our high street. Everywhere you see the evidence of illegal flyposting and the hanging of banners advertising everything from local fairs and music to five-a-side-football training.
The photographs shown here were all taken on the same day and show the avalanche of material that is currentlyon display – as well as that which was removed from lamposts, shopfronts and railings in just the core shopping area of the Sydenham Road. It’s clear that Sydenham Road is drowning in unsightly posters and stickers.
Pat Trembath looks at what should be done about this:
On April 7 2005 the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill received Royal Assent following a successful passage through Parliament to become the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act. This act should deal with many of the problems affecting the quality of our local environment through anti-social behaviour, vandalism, disorder and levels of crime. It is intended to provide local authorities with more effective powers and tools to tackle poor environmental quality and anti-social behaviour. Part 4 of the Act deals specifically with graffiti and fly-posting. The photographs here show the amount of fly posting removed from the core shopping area of Sydenham Road (between Cobbs Corner and Mayow Road) on the morning of 15 June.
Featured here are the ubiquitous shop front and roller shutter stickers, peeled off a reel and stuck, willy-nilly, on practically every shop door and shutter along the length of the road. It would appear that these shop front businesses consider they have every right to fly-post throughout the area and, although some were removed, many remain, and have been added to in the interim, as the adhesive is of a very strong type. Also shown is the mish-mash of other fly-posting which had been stuck on lamp posts, railings, telephone boxes, any old spare space seems to do. To add to the general fly-posting are the sad tales of much loved, but lost pets. Did Betty ever get found? We shall never know, because the owners of missing Betty (or the Yorkshire Terrier or the friendly black and white cat) having stuck their pleas for help to our street furniture never return to remove them. Finally, on virtually every lamp post can be found the heavy-duty plastic ties that once held public authority notices – the notices get removed eventually, but the ties remain tightly bound to the lamppost and very difficult to cut through to remove. The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act is there to help protect our environment but is rarely used by the local authority and is therefore to a large extent ineffectual with regard to lesser offences. It also begs the question are we so used to seeing fly-posting everywhere we look that eventually we no longer see what is defacing our neighbourhood, thus leaving it in situ in perpetuity.
Are we prepared to continue to let this happen?