Company pays 23 fines to avoid court

A COMPANY working on behalf of mobile phone giants Talk Talk has paid 23 fixed penalty notices to avoid being taken to court by Uttlesford District Council (UDC).

When Talk Talk banners appeared on railings around Saffron Walden, the district council contacted Essex County Council, which then removed them.

However, two days later, more than 20 posters were put up without permission, again advertising Talk Talk.

The county council, as highways authority, gave permission to UDC’s enforcement team to take down the posters.

The council’s enforcement team then tracked down a marketing and event management company called Bugle Communications which it found to be responsible for the unauthorised advertising. Bugle had rented space at Saffron Walden Market to advertise new Talk Talk services – and even asked for its signs back while it was running its promotional campaign in the town.

The district council decided to prosecute Bugle because the signs it put up in February breached planning regulations.

Last week however, shortly before the case was due before magistrates, Bugle instead agreed to pay 23 fixed penalty notices totalling �1725 to avoid having to go to court.

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A council spokesman said: “The laws around advertising are there for a reason and the council has a duty to protect the environment we all live in.

“Companies simply cannot just do as they wish and advertise when and where they like without any regard to the look of the area.

“The council has to be tough on such instances because it is important to send a strong message out – always make sure you have permission for what you are doing. It could be very costly otherwise.”