Hampshire County Council (HCC) revealed that the team behind the annual Wickham Festival, including Councillor Peter Chegwyn, had placed unapproved signs and posters in an attempt to promote the event.
Cllr Chegwyn, who holds positions as both a county councillor and the leader of Gosport Borough Council, has been associated with the festival since its inception in 2012.
This issue came to light after a freedom of information request was submitted to HCC. The query aimed to determine whether festival organisers had sought permission from the county council to display fly posters across Hampshire.
In response, HCC clarified that ‘no permission was sought from Wickham Festival Ltd or Councillor Peter Chegwyn to put up fly-posters on street furniture around Hampshire.
‘Contact was made with the organisers of the festival to have the signs removed once the County Council was made aware of the situation.’
Additional statements from HCC state that they were unable to estimate the number of flyers posted throughout the county.
However, it was noted that ‘the majority’ of the posters were removed after corresponding with the festival’s organisers.
The statement added that options to ‘prevent a reoccurrence for future events, which could include legal proceedings, are currently being investigated.’
Fly-posting is considered a form of environment and visual pollution subject to legal restrictions and regulations.
The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007 stipulates that most forms of outdoor advertising require planning permission from the local authority. Without proper authorisation, such advertising is considered unlawful.
This year’s festival saw acts including sea shanty specialists Fisherman’s Friends, chart-topping Scottish singer Barbara Dickson and Grammy-nominated blues artist Eric Bibb. The Proclaimers were due to headline but had to withdraw due to illness two days before.
Cllr Chegwyn was approached for comment.