Call to fine Edinburgh Fringe acts who fail to remove posters

Flyposting in the Old Town requires a major clear-up every year. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Flyposting in the Old Town requires a major clear-up every year. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Festival artists who fail to remove adverts from around the city could face fines as the council considers measures to clamp down on fly-posting.

Residents and councillors have spoken out about posters “making a mess” of Edinburgh’s streets – when they are left up long after events have taken place.

Hilary McDowell, from the Southside Association, called on the city council’s Transport and Environment Committee to take action against fly posting all year round in the Capital. She highlighted that a £50 fine per poster could get instant results.

She said: “We are all very concerned about the proliferation of fly posting in the city centre.

“This year we saw no sign of any fly posting being removed in the Southside until several weeks after the festival had finished. The terms of the contract must be enforced. I remove between 20 and 40 flyers every few days during the festival. We suggest revenue is ring fenced for an environmental warden. We suggest fines to be issued if the flyers are not removed within five days.”

She added: “Some years ago, two residents removed over 1,000 posters from Holyrood Park Road. They were all advertising events in night clubs in the city centre. They were all sent in batches to city council staff.

“This is the time for this committee to tackle this difficult subject. The blight of fly posting could be a thing of the past.”

A council officer highlighted the contracts between promoters and the authority, but said “the hardest part is actually enforcing it”.

Conservative Southside Cllr Cameron Rose asked for the committee to “look at some of the options that are there to up our game”.

He added: “I’m one of a number of residents of the local area who takes the opportunity to remove fly posting.

“From time to time we have had assistance of environmental wardens and that has had an impact.

“What we are looking for is measures to make more of an impact to tidy up our city because it makes so much of a mess.”

Council officers agreed to discuss any measures with resident groups and councillors that could be put into renewed contracts with venues and events.

Green Cllr Chas Booth, who used to work at a festival venue, said: “It does not seem to be that the venues are taking the responsibility as seriously as they should.”

The council’s director of place, Paul Lawrence, said a report will be considered by the Culture and Communities Committee next month about managing the festival city.

He added: “There are a range of issues and we are trying to bring all those issues together. I’m happy for this issue to go to that.”

Cllr Lesley Macinnes, said: “It’s quite clear that we have a commitment to deal with some of the issues that are having an impact. There is also a scheduled deep clean.”