BANNERS advertising a charity canal walk to raise money for a cancer treatment centre have been taken down in Blaenau Gwent.

The move has led to Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith calling for the council to rethink its policy.

The Cwm-based group, the Blaenau Gwent Sole Sisters, had placed banners on fences at the side of the road in several locations, advertising a walk to raise money for the Velindre Cancer Centre ahead of the event on Sunday, May 19.

But they found the banners were removed shortly afterwards by the council.


A council official told Mr Smith such banners can often impair visibility and cause distraction to road users.

But the Labour MP said he was left disappointed by the response.

“Given that this is a public health initiative, a charity event and one being organised by volunteers I found it disheartening to hear that the banners were being taken down and the volunteers’ efforts were being hindered,” he said.

Mr Smith said he believed the council should have discussed the placement of the banners with the group.

He also called a council response to his question on the issue ‘heavy-handed.’

A spokesman for Blaenau Gwent council said: “The council has a policy on unauthorised advertisements which was approved in September 2017.

“In general the council will allow signage for temporary uses of land/buildings such as local events, summer Christmas fetes, blood transfusion service or farmers markets.

“This is subject to highway safety issues.

“Signs must not be erected more than 21 days before the event and must be removed seven days after its completion.

“This does not prevent the highway authority taking immediate steps to remove signs that are deemed dangerous or a distraction to road users.”