Rothpol has been asked to give equal prominence to Darren Hughes response in the interests of fairness. I therefore reproduce Darren Hughes statement:
From Darren Hughes
“I would like to make some factual corrections to your posting.
a. Prior to erecting my election posters, I checked what the correct procedure was. Most councils have a policy specifically for election campaign posters ie that candidates may put posters up but must take them down by a week after the election.
b. On checking, I found that Rotherham has no policy on this. I contacted the Rotherham planning department and was told campaign posters were acceptable during election times and that there was a legal requirement for the posters to be removed within a specific time frame following the election. I proceeded to have the posters erected.
b. Following a complaint from an opposing candidate I was contacted by the Director of Streetpride and asked to remove the posters. I asked if this was
correct as there was not a specific policy and there seemed to be some
confusion between council departments. I was advised by Streetpride
that no action would be taken until the situation was clarified.
c. Several days later I was informed that the posters would need to be
removed. RMBC policy for fly posters is to advise and request that the
posters be removed within 7 days. I agreed with the Director of Streetpride that I would arrange for the posters to be removed myself by the
weekend. If I had not removed the posters by this agreed timescale
Streetpride officers would remove them.
d. I arranged for the posters to be removed only to find as we started to remove them (within the agreed timescale) that RMBC officers had already started their removal. Despite this, the vast majority of posters were taken down by my arrangement.
I am a little surprised that Mr Thornton has made this posting as he was one of the people who approved of my posters in a similar fashion in 2008, and who himself displayed posters during his own election campaign.”
Readers may need to refer to this post: Fly posting – The Ex-Councillor, Mr Hughes