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Centenary Theatre Company claims it is being harassed by the council
3:00pm Friday 2nd November 2012 in News
THE chairman of a popular theatre group has claimed they are being ‘harassed’ by ‘over-zealous’ council officials.
Centenary Theatre Company has been accused of fly-posting after displaying an advert for their latest production on hoarding on London Bridge, Stockton Heath despite explaining to Warrington Borough Council the company president owned the sign.
It is the second time the theatre company have come to blows with the council after they felt they were forced to move their performances to the Brindley theatre in Runcorn seven years ago and were later ordered to remove a banner outside Crosfields, Sankey Way.
Sine then the chairman of the registered charity Dan Grimes claims ticket sales have been hampered considerably until the group were granted permission to promote shows and plays on hoarding in Stockton Heath.
But the company, which has been based in the town for the last 110 years, said they were then dismayed to receive more ‘threatening correspondence’ indicating enforcement action from the council if the poster was not removed.
Mr Grimes added: “I am staggered that in a time when so much of the public purse is under scrutiny, the council feel it is an appropriate use of resources to harass a local theatre group who are trying to do nothing more than benefit the local community and enhance Warrington’s cultural reputation.
“Stop at any set of traffic lights from Penketh to Padgate and street furniture is festooned with examples of real fly-posting and yet there seems very little action taken against the businesses that do so.
“Perhaps the particular brand of heavy-handedness that we have been subjected to is reserved solely for charitable organisations or the current council officials are not theatre lovers.
“As far as we are concerned we are using the sign lawfully and for the purposes that it was built more than half a century ago.”
A council spokesman said "Our correspondence is not considered threatening, and it is unfortunate if it has been perceived to be so. The correspondence contained standard information that is issued as part of our usual enforcement procedures."