Council signals signs of the times
5:09pm Wednesday 4th December 2013 in News
FORTY Vale Council signs have gone up around the county in the authority’s bid to counteract a shortfall in earnings.
The sign frames, on roundabouts and highway verges, generated an income of £25k a year, but the economic downturn has led to businesses choosing not to advertise at the sites.
The council has opted to promote itself to try and encourage external sponsors to sign up once again.
Vale Council director of visible services and housing Miles Punter said: “No doubt due to the tough financial climate for local businesses, a number of the sites have not been generating external sponsorship. This not only reduces the income to the council but also has a knock-on effect, with the empty sign frames reducing the potential for any new business.
“We have recently started to fill these empty frames with important public messages, to both inform our residents and visitors, and also to reaffirm the potential impact of these signs to prospective private sponsors."
He said the signs were made by an external sign manufacturer - as was the case with all other sponsorship signs - and the cost of the supply and fitting was, on average, £60 per sign.
He said the 40 signs displayed various council messages on issues such as fostering and recycling and the signs would be taken down when private sponsors showed an interest in the area, and could be relocated at an average cost of £20.
He said: “The placing of our own signs in the empty frames is a trial aimed at generating additional income from external sponsors. If this is achieved and our residents and visitors benefit in any way from our messages the trial will be judged a success.
“One of the sign designs features our very successful Big Fill pothole repair campaign which will start again in the spring of 2014. We have had many positive comments about this scheme which allows the public to have an input into highway repairs in their local areas. The scheme will once again be advertised in the local press where details of how the public can become involved will be explained.”