Distribution of Free Printed Material

Flyers, leaflets, free newspapers and other printed material can be circulated for a number of promotional purposes, either commercial or ideological, within our town centres. However, where there are too many people trying to give us free printed material, it can cause annoyance and yet another intrusion on to visitors' trips out, and may result in increased litter and subsequent mess that damages perceptions of your local area and is cleaned up at the taxpayers' expense.

Under section 23 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, consent zones can be established whereby only individuals and organisations with permission are allowed to distribute material inside it. Where consent zones do not exist, the distribution of free printed material can take place without the individual or organisation requiring permission. Your local authority licensing section will be able to give you details of how this can be undertaken for your town centre.

If you are unsure about the validity...or even honesty of a publication being handed out or the organisation it is supposedly representing, check with your local authority licensing section. Police have powers to act in partnership with the local authority to confiscate the stock of publications where laws are being breached.

In the absence of a consent zone a voluntary agreement can go some way to addressing this issue. Printed material distributors are asked to book their day time and location with the Town Centre Management or local authority office and sign an agreement that they will act responsibly with regards to cleaning up any litter caused as a direct result of their activities and the considerate behaviour of the personnel involved.