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Bill Stickers is innocent (if he works for the Council)

… or “Quis Custodet Ipsos Custodes?”

15 Oct 2004:

SCOTLAND’S largest local authority yesterday unveiled its latest weapon designed to stop the menace of illegal flyposting which costs thousands of pounds each year to clear up.

Flyposting can carry a hefty fine and recently Glasgow City Council has reported venues whose names appear on illegally posted bills to the licensing board. Warnings and sanctions, such as the scrapping of late entertainment licences, can then be handed down.

(The Herald)

7 Jun 2007:

GLASGOW’S clean-up squads are tackling illegal bill posters with a little creative vandalism of their own.

Council staff have started painting out illegal adverts which make the city look run down, to ensure the companies who produce the ads are just wasting their money.

And the city’s litter wardens are cancelling illegal ad sites by pasting up stickers over unlicensed ads.

It can take 45 minutes to remove just one poster and often scraps of paper are left behind.

(Evening Times)

Here is an example of that Scheme at work.

The Clean Glasgow Charters set out exactly how we can all play our part in helping to tackle environmental problems like litter, graffiti, fly-posting and fly-tipping. Also, the Clean Glasgow Charters outline what Glasgow City Council will do to support the organisations that sign up.

(Glasgow City Council)

Y’know, I don’t think I’d be as infuriated by this vandalism, which has appeared on most (but oddly, not all) of the front doors in my neighbourhood:


… if it wasn’t only the same Council, but the same fucking department (note the “Clean Glasgow” logo at the bottom*; the very same Programme under which the anti-flyposting Charters are issued).

I have, of course, done my civic duty and reported the incident.

*With the sinister slogan “it’s (sic**) our city – play your part” (my emphasis).

**I don’t really mind a complete absence of capitalization for design purposes, but the Cooncil’s policy appears to be to throw them in at random.


  1. Lynne says:

    Sounds to me like Glasgow Council is taking the paste…

  2. Ian B says:

    I always feel so out of step with everybody else. I like flyposters, and adverts in general well except ones in the middle of something you’re watching, and annoying internets flash ones, I mean static images really. I like a bit of litter too. And noisy roads full of traffic, and drunks in shop doorways and all the rest of the urban scene. I don’t really gen with this making everywhere nice[1], I want a bit of disorder, I’m really very seventeenth century in my outlook. You know, none of this “social order”, that’s not what cities are for, they’re supposed to be kind of a tavern and a bawdy house and a couple of dancing bears in Downing Street, we really should get some piped water in Pudding Lane before somebody has a nasty accident, London Bridge covered in a precarious Pratchettesque warren of ad hoc constructions, I’m cuttin’me own throat here.

    Councils seem to ruin all that kind of stuff, they go “we want everywhere nice[2] but we also support the diversity of our vibrant local music scene, so here’s a nice special place for your posters, please get them approved by the Poster Diversity Officer first, and include an anti-drugs message, this music festival against transphobia sponsored by Pfizer will really put Little Boggington on the map, make sure there are plenty of smoking wardens we don’t want to present a bad image do we?

    Well done for reporting the bastards, Sam.

    [1] Imagine that said sneerily by Alexei Sayle.

    [2] Ditto

  3. Jeremy Poynton says:

    Down here in Engerland, we have holes in our doors to allow folk to pop things through them – letters, flyers, notifications from the council etc. Perhaps that’s the way to go? :-)

  4. Sam Duncan says:

    Ian, I totally agree. And commercial flyposters stick (hah!) to a sort of unwritten code: blank walls, empty shops, fine; occupied shops, residential areas, not cool. Hell, they’re in business themselves; they know the score.

    That’s the second most maddening part, Jeremy. I assume they thought posting a single notice on all the close mouths* would be cheaper than printing one for every household. It’s the Savage Tory Cuts™, innit?

    But even then, they could also have got in touch with our Residents’ Association, who have notice boards inside. Which would have saved on paste, too. But that would be too much like work.

    *Jock for “common entrance to a block of flats”.

  5. Paul Marks says:

    The bastards!

    They complain about posters – and then stick a load up themselves (on people’s front doors – which no private company would do).

    You could try writing letter to the newspaper that carried the “council is so careing” puff story.

    “I did Paul – they would not print my letter”.

    I hope that is not the case.

    My father once owned a shop in Glasgow (as well as a few other places – all gone decades ago) I can not remember if I ever visited this shop with him.

    Perhaps Glasgow was so terrible my mind blanked out any visit.

  6. Andrew Duffin says:

    Paint over it?

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