County council bosses seek legal action over Wickham Festival signs

Wickham Festival

Wickham Festival

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Winchester Chief Reporter

HAMPSHIRE civic chiefs took legal action against a music festival organised by one their own councillors over the spread of potentially dangerous roadside signs.

County council bosses acted after becoming concerned that publicity signs for the annual Wickham Festival were becoming a hazard by blocking sightlines on county roads.

The council sought an injunction against the festival in a hearing at Winchester Law Courts.

It was dropped at the last minute after the festival, whose director Peter Chegwyn is himself a county councillor, agreed to tackle the problem.

Councillor Sean Woodward, the county’s transport and environment boss, said the council had acted after Wickham Festival organisers had failed to give a guarantee about not putting signs on public roads.

He told the Daily Echo: “The council generally adopts a pragmatic approach to temporary signing on the highway for local events, but we will act to remove signs where they are causing a safety issue, such as blocking sight lines.

“In recent years the scale and proliferation of signs across south Hampshire for the Wickham Festival has led to complaints seeking removal of unauthorised signs and additional cost for the Highways Service.

“Therefore we tried to secure a commitment from the organiser earlier this year with regard to unauthorised signs across south Hampshire.

“When this was not agreed by Wickham Festivals we were reluctantly forced to initiate formal legal proceedings, which were then halted when the festival organisers came forward with proposals which met our requirements.

“They have given a formal undertaking not to place signs on land forming part of the public highway, and to promptly remove any that do appear, entirely at their own cost in the future.”

Mr Chegwyn, director of Wickham Festivals and a Liberal Democrat county councillor, said the out-of- court settlement was amicable but he said the council has now set a precedent.

“The council is opening up a hornets’ nest. I don’t think we can be singled out for special treatment. If they crack down on us they have to crack down on everyone, the village fetes and agricultural shows.

“This makes it harder for everyone to promote themselves as they have in the past. I would be sad if politics played a part.”

The festival, which runs from August 14-17, is heading for a 7,000-ticket sell-out with James Blunt due to headline, along with the Lightning Seeds, Steve Earle and Bellowhead.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:10pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Paramjit Bahia says...

A Liberal Democrat councillor promising one something and not honouring that is hardly surprising. After all is it not not part of Lib-Den DNA?

Next time Lib-Dem pay their usual lip service to road safety, people should remember their councillor's irresponsible record. Just as students should remember their broken pledges on higher education fee and opponent of civilian slaughter going on in Gaza; because although in public Lib-Dem have opposed it, according to Baroness Warsi during closed meetings Lib Dem Denny Alexndra did not support her. (Hope what she has told Independent is true, because she too did not say anything against Israel in public till she started spilling the Tory beans to suit her own divisive agenda, which may the exploitation of Muslim vote bank or sulk because she may have only jumped the sinking ship before Cameron pushed her)
A Liberal Democrat councillor promising one something and not honouring that is hardly surprising. After all is it not not part of Lib-Den DNA? Next time Lib-Dem pay their usual lip service to road safety, people should remember their councillor's irresponsible record. Just as students should remember their broken pledges on higher education fee and opponent of civilian slaughter going on in Gaza; because although in public Lib-Dem have opposed it, according to Baroness Warsi during closed meetings Lib Dem Denny Alexndra did not support her. (Hope what she has told Independent is true, because she too did not say anything against Israel in public till she started spilling the Tory beans to suit her own divisive agenda, which may the exploitation of Muslim vote bank or sulk because she may have only jumped the sinking ship before Cameron pushed her) Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Mon 11 Aug 14

sarfhamton says...

James Blunt is playing, i think that is reason enough to shut it down
James Blunt is playing, i think that is reason enough to shut it down sarfhamton
  • Score: 4

6:59pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Tiz says...

Perhaps HCC should have a word with enforcement officers in Eastleigh who routinely remove any signs advertising event. The motorcycle club I belong to always have the signs that direct rally goers to the rally at Trojan's Rugby club (approximately 30 cm square and stuck in the verge).
Hardly blocking the sight-line.
Perhaps HCC should have a word with enforcement officers in Eastleigh who routinely remove any signs advertising event. The motorcycle club I belong to always have the signs that direct rally goers to the rally at Trojan's Rugby club (approximately 30 cm square and stuck in the verge). Hardly blocking the sight-line. Tiz
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Tue 12 Aug 14

giles_lloyd says...

http://www.thefestiv
alapp.com/
http://www.thefestiv alapp.com/ giles_lloyd
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree