A cash row has erupted over an ‘unpaid bill for fly-posting’ between Burnley’s ruling Liberal Democrats and the British National Party.
Council leader Coun Gordon Birtwistle, at a full council meeting, blasted the BNP for a series of stickers and posters which were plastered over bus shelters and walls around the May 2008 elections. He said that the BNP party, which has four representatives on Burnley council, has still not offered to pay for cleaning up the fly-posting. But BNP chiefs said there was no evidence the posters or promotional material was connected with official party sources.
Coun Birtwistle made his accusation shortly after the BNP made budget submissions at the full council meeting. He said: “I am surprised that the BNP have come into this chamber to present a budget, particularly anything to do with spending on Street Scene.”
Street Scene is the council’s initiative to tackle issues such as fly tipping, graffiti, dog fouling, littering and fly posting.
Coun Birtwistle said: “The BNP have not paid a bill of £600 for fly-posting at the last election. They have waited for council tax payers to pick up the bill. Which is why I am not interested in anything they have to say here tonight.”
But later Coun Sharon Wilkinson, BNP leader in Burnley, said: “There is no evidence of us fly-posting. They are trying to say that someone from the BNP put up these posters but they are just guessing. If they had any evidence by now then they would have prosecuted us. But I have said to (council chief executive and returning officer) Steve Rumbelow you do not have anything to prove it was us. Obviously someone has put these posters up but they were freely available on a website at the time.”
A Burnley council spokesman confirmed that a request had been made to the BNP for an £810 contribution to cleaning up the posters and stickers, following the election.