Specialist to deal with advertising

A SPECIALIST company could be employed by Angus Council to deal with advertising and sponsorship at town gateways and roundabouts across the county.

At the time of going to press on Tuesday, members of the council’s infrastructure services committee had been recommended to approve the measure which would, once advertising deals had been arranged, remove responsibility for the sites from the local authority while generating income.

Infrastructure services director Eric Lowson put three options to councillors, which were suggested after considering the approach of neighbouring councils and others further afield.

A list of suitable sites was considered at an earlier meeting and the Rossie Island Road roundabout is the only one in the Montrose area deemed suitable for carrying advertising.

Mr Lowson said: “The list of potential sites is focused on town. It may be possible to include village gateways in the future development of the project depending on the success of the pilot, noting that there are no significant roundabouts in village locations.”

The three options before the committee are for a specialist to take on all aspects of the project, sponsorship only or for the council to deal with all aspects itself.

Recommending the first option, Mr Lowson said: “There are specialist marketing companies who can obtain sponsorship on behalf of the council and offer a full service including surveys, sales, contracts, planning, administration, customer service, invoicing and full maintenance and landscaping of the areas.

“The council receives a limited income depending on the sponsorship levels and the costs incurred by the company.

“This proposal would remove the maintenance burden the council for those sites which find sponsorship. There may be a minor saving, therefore, in addition to possible income.

“This proposal has limited risk to the council in that only if the company finds a sponsor would there be any change to the status quo”

Although the council decided in 2006 not to open verges and roundabouts to commercial interests, the subject was raised again last August by local councillor David May. He had been approached by a local event organiser after they were told that placing advertising banners on council fences at roundabouts contravened policy.