When you prepare for a phone-in programme (on LBC - which I apparently have a little-mentioned show on) the nightmare scenario in the back of your mind is that people will phone in and talk sense, point out facts and generally ruin the fun of opinionated ill-informed populist knee jerk discussion. When my producer Matt suggested we should cover the story about Westminster City Council taking Addison Lee to court to ban them from putting their company name on those cigarette bins you find on walls outside pubs and club, I thought he was having a laugh.
In essence, Westminster are trying to allege that they contravene planning regulations. Because they do.
You'd have thought they would welcome them as something which helps keep Westminster's streets clean and tidy. But on the contrary. I suspect this is some idiot jobsworth who delights in quoting some obscure piece of planning law. I haven't actually checked this as my blog requires me to be an idiot jobsworth who delights in quoting opinion as fact and blithely repeating unsubstantiated information to make a point.
They maintain (presumably because it is the correct figure) that it only applies to 7 bins in a conservation area in Marylebone, but just watch them try to ban all 16,000 of the bins. When I say 16,000 I should point out that if I had read up on the story properly I would know that is the figure of bins across London and so not all are even under the control of Westminster to ban. But then a knee jerk reaction to adverts being banned on 7 bins in strict accordance with rules on advertising in conservation areas might seem a little extreme even for me so I'll try and infer that it applies to far more to really get people steamed up.
Unless the bins used to be in Westminster and this is another example of Westminster Council successfully removing and dumping inconvenient items into other boroughs. After all, it is an area they have previous in. Dame Shirley Porter would be proud.