A Hull shop owner was fined £75, after a sticker advertising her shop was found on a lamppost.
She denies putting it there. But still – it’s a sticker. The po-faced council announced gravely that she had ‘committed an offence of displaying an unlawful advertisement’.
What this shows is: first, the increasingly free and easy use of on-the-spot-fines by councils, in a way that lacks all consistency and proportion. Cases that wouldn’t even see a judge – let alone result in a guilty verdict – are being dealt with in this casual and arbitrary manner, delivered in the same way as the gas bill.
Second, it shows councils’ hatred for community posters of all kinds – such that coffee morning posters and the like are described as leading to a ‘spiral of crime’. At the same time, council posters and adverts grow relentlessly.
The shop owner is resisting her on-the-spot-fine – and quite right too.