Friday, 28 May 2010

More adverts and visual clutter - coming to a Brighton landmark near you soon

Adverts and hoardings could be plastered in historic locations across the city in a desperate bid to raise cash to fund tax cuts, thanks to the latest ruling of Tory-run Brighton and Hove City Council.

A report considered by a meeting of yesterday's council cabinet said that new adverts - and sponsoring attractions (like  stretches of our beach) could raise 'significant' sums of money.

And mindful of the Con-Dem government's plans to impose a local tax freeze on the council - as well to cut funding for services like planning enforcement, highway maintenance and noise nuisance patrols - the cabinet was quick to press ahead with the scheme.

Of course no-one likes paying taxes - and Council Tax should be scrapped in favour of a fairer system to ensure those who can most afford it fund local services - but cluttering our public spaces (and our mental environment) with adverts just isn't the answer.

It will make Brighton and Hove a less attractive city - and will exhort more vulnerable residents to spend money they haven't got on stuff they don't need, fuelling the debt-and-consumption based economy which caused the problems leading to public service cuts in the first place.

The irony of the fact that, just a few weeks ago, the Tory Council rejected a bid to allow a community centre to fund its services through placing an advert on one of its walls is incredible - it seems the visual clutter is alright if it meets financial holes left by tax cuts and Government borrowing, but not when it is going to fubnd community groups.

I think the council should take a leaf out of Sao Paulo's book. The conservative administration there recently went in the other direction entirely, and banned advertising hoardings in the city altogether.

No comments:

Post a Comment