Area ‘swamped’ with posters

By Staff Reporter

A South Belfast community is being “plagued” by an abundance of fly-posting promoting bars and clubs there, a local councillor has said.

Cathy Curran from the Alliance Party said the streets of Stranmillis were “out of control” with the posters, which are plastered over lampposts and walls in the area, and advertise a range of offers for clubs and pubs.

Although sticking up posters on public property without permission is illegal, it does not deter the hundreds of fly-posters who put them on lampposts, fences and electricity and water-meter boxes across the south of the city.

Cllr Curran said her office was receiving daily complaints from residents about the eyesores.

“We are swamped with people in Stranmillis and increasingly the Holyland about the posters. The amount of them being posted illegally bring a bad reputation to all promoters, even those who play by the rules,” said Cllr Curran.

“The volume of them mean that when it rains or they fall off, the streets are covered in the posters and it makes the whole South Belfast area really unsightly.

“The Cleaner Neighbourhood Act will allow Belfast City Council more powers to tackle this problem but it could take up to next April before the legislation is fully enacted and so we need to do something to stop it in the meantime.”

A Belfast City Council spokesperson said its powers were “limited” when it came to fly-posters until the Clean Neighbourhoods Act come into power. It will give councils the ability to fine the promoter, venue and artist.

“The act will bring new powers in for councils and we welcome that. At the moment, we try to paint posters out, as removing them is costly and time-consuming, but we don’t have a statutory obligation to do that.

“This is an issue which we will continue to look at and find a solution for, as it is something people complain about and those who put up the posters are breaking the law.”

A PSNI spokesperson said police were aware of the concern fly-posting caused for local communities.

“Where police are made aware of such incidents they notify the appropriate persons who then take steps to remove it. If a complaint is received in relation to such incidents, the perpetrator may face charges of criminal damage.”

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