Tuesday, 3 February 2009


With icy conditions and heavy snow forecast on the roads you don't need any distractions when driving, but that's not something Laura Sandys seems to have thought of. She has put up 2 large roadside advertising boards in farmer's fields. One is on the left hand side of Canterbury Road East just before the Lord of the Manor roundabout. Turn right and go up the hill on Haine Road and there is another one on your left.

Every week I look at the planning application list we get as councillors, and I have seen nothing about this. Has planning permission been sought, or is it a case of try it on and see if I can get away with it?

Laura's not replied to my previous contact so I'll drop her a line again. These are the questions I would hope to have answered.

Do you think road safety is improved during severe weather conditions by distracting roadside adverts?
Have you applied for Planning Permission, if so when?
Has planning permission been granted for these adverts?

Who has paid for these adverts?
What is the cost of these adverts?
Whose land are the adverts on?
Have you paid the landowner, or have they donated the land?

The last 4 questions will have to be declared in due course under electoral law so in the spirit of transparency I would ask that Ms. Sandys is open about them at the earliest opportunity.

The other questions are of interest to local people and I hope Ms. Sandys will answer them as she seeks to represent the area.

As someone who has not been in the area long Ms. Sandys may be unaware of Thanet Council's hard line on these matters. I recall estate agents not being allowed to have "for sale" boards up which were charity donations advertising for a school summer fair (I think it was St. Joseph's Convent - can anybody remind me please?). I also recall a man who was using an advertising board selling plants for charity and he was ordered to stop.

The matter has been reported to Thanet Council and the relevant officers are looking into this potential breach of the law.

I hope Ms. Sandys will demonstrate rapidly that she has complied with all aspects of the law.

UPDATE 4.2.09 The Council is investigating, Laura Sandys is unavailable for comment.

UPDATE 2 5.2.09 Laura Sandys apologises unequivocally, but still leaves the signs up even though she knows this is wrong.


  1. Could these be a bit Like Dr Ladymans posters on the same road at the last election?

  2. Think you will find the boards are in the field of a farmer, known as a Tory supporter.
    Suppose Sandys has to get her face known somehow - this could well be the only way. Having said that she is pretty good at turning up at things, often uninvited, but NEVER says ANYTHING - could there be a reason?

  3. No the law is different during elections when effectively if not legally it is a free for all.

  4. Actually there are at least three as I spotted one on the road from Ramsgate to Minster. I think they are in the fields where last time UKIP posts were prominent.

    I can't put an advertising board up in my own garden without permission so why should the rules be different for a politician.

    These boards need permission because, apart from anything else, they are a major distraction to motorists on roads that are busy at any time. Mind you with any luck, the traffic is moving at such a speed they can't be read.

  5. Anyone whose driving is distracted to the point of danger by a couple of notice boards shouldn't even be on the road (I've crashed my bicycle after being distracted by a woman in a very short skirt but that's completely different!).


  7. Peter if they weren't meant to be distracting they wouldn't be put up.

  8. When Supt Rogers hired a light plane, to tow road safety and prevention of crime advice banner messages across Thanet skies, I don't recall any councillor pointing out how crass this was.

    "Keep your eyes on the road and do not read this banner this advice came from Supt Rogers Thanet Police"

  9. I see you have a 'shouter', Mark.

    18.14, it really isn't polite to use caps in a comment unless you are highlighting a particular point.

    The problem with your comment is also the fact that you appear inarticulate. It is perfectly reasonable for these post-boards to be questioned, particularly if they are 'illegal' and are in breach of Planning Regs.

    As a Tory, I have no axe to grind on this issue. What do you expect from a Labour Councillor's Blog if our South Thanet PPC has contravened TDC Planning Regs, a 'bravo' or 'well done, Laura'? Get real. You remind me of a pheasant who loads the shooter's 12 bore for him and then complains when he gets shot at.