Take this example from Leeds where officers have set on Curb Media to do some 'clean advertising' on city centre pavement. There's some funky and creative advertising lifting otherwise dull streets - not permanent or damaging - and the City Council gets some income to go towards looking after those pavements. A win all round it seems to me. But for one Liberal Democrat councillor this is an "environmental crime":
Headingley Liberal Democrat councillor James Monaghan said: "I personally don't agree with having adverts on the pavements.
"In my opinion they are an environmental crime, illegal advertising and have the same effect as stencilling or tagging for bringing down an area. The fact that the council now intends to profit out of such an activity is surprising but I believe the decision was made with no consultation with environmental enforcement officers, who have spent years combating this environmental crime."
Duh? Has this idiot not seen these adverts? Does he not appreciate how they are different, fun, a bit edgy - used by such terrible advertisers and the BBC and Channel 4?
Sadly, Cllr Monaghan isn't alone in his condemnation - according to Labour Councillor, Graham Hyde:
"This is a modern version of flyposting. OK, it's a few streets in the city centre but it is happening illegally elsewhere. If we're not careful here we could be opening up Pandora's box. How can we enforce the illegal advertising when we're doing it ourselves?"
Maybe, Graham, you can enforce against illegal adverts because they're illegal? These adverts are legal!
It gets still more interesting as the internal battle between council departments is revealed:
Head of environmental action at Leeds council, Graham Wilson, admitted he had been 'shocked' when he found out about the trial - by the city development department - back in November and had 'severe reservations' about the impact of the adverts on the city centre. He suggested the council could be in a duplicitous position in court when trying to enforce illegal action against other companies.
What? Seems the resident council eco-loon doesn't like the fact that something was done to "the environment" without his express permission - and money was made too! Quite terrible! So this man makes up a spurious legal problem to justify his unjustified concerns.