MIDDLE HANDLEY: A sad sign of the times for charity

Andy Birks who has been threatened a fine of �2,500 for putting up posters which are promoting a charity gig for a children's charity.
Andy Birks who has been threatened a fine of �2,500 for putting up posters which are promoting a charity gig for a children's charity.
0
Have your say

An organiser has been threatened with a hefty fine – for putting up some posters promoting a charity gig.

Andy Birks erected the signs in Middle Handley to advertise next month’s concert in aid of Chesterfield charity Fairplay.

But he received a letter from NE Derbyshire District Council saying he didn’t have planning permission to put up the posters and would be fined £2,500 if they weren’t taken down.

Mr Birks, 41, of Chesterfield, who didn’t know he needed planning permission to erect the A4 signs, said: “It’s madness. All we’re trying to do is raise money for a really invaluable charity which helps disabled kids.”

He said he has no option but to remove the posters.

A council spokesman said it had discussed the issue with Mr Birks and added: “We don’t want to put unnecessary barriers in the way of people organising events like this but we are legally required to make sure they operate within the law. We’d urge event organisers to contact us to discuss their plans at the earliest stage.”

The Birkfest charity gig will take place at Westfield House, in Westfield Lane, Middle Handley, between 1pm and 9pm on Sunday, July 7.

It will feature music from a range of acts as well as an auction and food and drink.

There is no ticket fee but a minimum donation of £10 will be expected on entry.

For more details, email adbirks.birks@gmail.com.