A terrible crime, a ghastly one that must be stamped out, I\’m sure you agree.

A woman was threatened with a fine by her local council for putting posters on lampposts to find the owners of a lost cat. Public-spirited Joy Tracey wanted to reunite Copper the ginger tom with his owners after he was found whimpering in a garden.

The grandmother-of-three traipsed around animal shelters, vets and pet shops in a bid to help the cat. She also put adverts in her local paper and called the RSPCA, but drew a blank.

So after two weeks, and desperate to help the homesick pet, the former secretary printed 12 laminated, A5-sized posters. Tracey tied them to lampposts near her home in Denton, Greater Manchester, advertising her telephone number and asking for help for the lost animal. A day later uniformed council patrollers spotted the offending ads.

Tracey had fallen foul of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992, Clauses A, B and F, and Tameside council was determined to enforce the rules. She was telephoned from the council offices and ordered to remove the posters.

Aren\’t we lucky to have such caring and sensible rulers?

11 thoughts on “Flyposting”

  1. What I said before: obligatory intelligence tests for council employees, and maybe a few classes in common sense.

  2. Utter bastards. This is happening across the country: pettifogging officials desperate to fine and harass the population. It’s a widespread low-level tyranny and there must be a way to combat it.

    I propose a general law on the statute books: the anti-pettifogging law, that provides a statutory defence to ANY law or regulation that the enforcement is manifestly absurd and counter-productive. This lets magistrates throw out any case.

  3. Of course there is a way to oppose this and all the other petty tyranny you endure. Those remaining in England, the left behind, have no will for effective opposition.

  4. “Those remaining in England, the left behind”

    Where else to go where this is not happening?

    Canada? I think not: it’s a country that has been run along New Labour lines for decades (substitute Quebec for Scotland).

    The US? Hah. Anyone coming into contact with the TSA knows just how little the population will do to restrain officialdom.

    Australia? A country of choice, where the citizen can vote for an authoritarian right-wing party or an authoritarian left-wing party. Lovely.

    France? I won’t even dignify that with an answer.

    Portugal? Somente se você pode falar a língua louca.

  5. Next time she finds a lost pet, the answer is simple – buy a cheap, pay-as-you-go throwaway phone. Then they can’t trace it to her.

    If they are going to treat the law abiding population as terrorists, then we may as well start acting like terrorists…

  6. “Next time she finds a lost pet, the answer is simple – buy a cheap, pay-as-you-go throwaway phone. Then they can’t trace it to her.”

    The local authority has the powers to go to the cellphone company and ask for a triangulation between base stations to trace the phone. They have all the anti-terror powers they want.

    She would need to switch the phone on only in a busy shopping area. And wear a hat so that the CCTV pictures can’t be correlated.

  7. What makes it worse is that this took place in a sh*thole like Denton. Of all the places I’ve ever known I’ve never been to anywhere that would benefit more from a little community spirit than Denton. For shame.

  8. So we have a harmless woman being persecuted by an uncivil servant (spiteful b*gger) who wouldn’t dare stand up to a real wrongdoer.

    Great.

    We’re screwed.

  9. It’s a widespread low-level tyranny and there must be a way to combat it.

    All people have to do is get elected to the local council and change things.

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