Wednesday 1 May 2013

Petition to change law on leafleting for small scale events

Guest blog from Manifesto Club

Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, councils can designate areas within which people must buy a licence to hand out leaflets. Nearly a third of councils now restrict leafleting, and licences are prohibitively expensive.

These rules have been catastrophic for theatres, village halls, comedy clubs and small nightclubs, which rely on leafleting, but cannot afford such fees.

A flyer ban in Leicester Square caused the collapse of several comedy nights. One Women’s Institute was threatened with a fine for handing out leaflets about its art exhibition. Oxford student societies were asked to pay £100 a month for leafleting.

Leafleting is a key civic freedom, with a long tradition in this country, and should not be restricted without good reason. Litter can be dealt with through the proper provision of litter bins and other common-sense measures, rather than restrictions on people’s rights to use public space.

The 2005 Act already provides exemption for political and religious leafleting, or leafleting on behalf of a charity. The Government should amend the Act, to provide an additional exemption for leafleting for small-scale cultural and community events. 

Lord Clement Jones is introducing a private members' bill in early May which would exempt small-scale local events from the need to buy leafleting licenses. The Manifesto Club has a petition to support a change in the law on leafleting HERE

No comments: