Council U-turn on election poster restrictions

Controversial moves to ban election posters on public property have been abandoned after a storm of protest.

The move by Argyll and Bute was attacked by MSPs and a campaign group, who asked community councils across the area for their support.

It was passed by the chair’s casting vote by the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee earlier this month.

But today (Thursday) the council’s depute leader Ellen Morton – who’s casting vote was crucial at the committee meeting – put forward a motion to maintain the status quo instead.

Seconded by council leader Dick Walsh, it was agreed unanimously.

After the meeting a council spokesperson said: “It is only right and proper that, from time to time, the council considers its policies and procedures, and this is one such instance.

“The environment, development and infrastructure committee made a recommendation for the council to consider changing the policy, however, given the views expressed on the matter, members decided to maintain the status quo.”

Council officials had said that campaign material had been left behind well beyond last September’s referendum, and said Argyll and Bute should follow other Scottish councils in banning election posters from council property – which includes lamp-posts.

But opponents said alternatives had not been explored and the public had not been consulted.

For details of the original council report and the campaign group’s statement, see the story published earlier this week.