Banners to be attached to new street lamps in Eastleigh and Hedge End will cost up to £102,000 according to a paper to be presented to cabinet on Monday 16th May. That is the proposed budget to be put aside by the Borough Council for forty flags similar to those already in use in neighbouring Southampton.
The bulk of the money will be spent on 21 banners in Eastleigh where the proposal is to install non-standard lamp posts to support the banners, whereas in Hedge End brackets will simply be bolted onto 18 existing lamps.
Tollbar Way, Charles Watts Way, Botley Road, Wildern Lane and the village centre have been identified as suitable locations for these flags which will “present a valuable opportunity for the Council to enhance its brand visibility and proactively increase awareness of the Council’s work, priorities, events and benefits through promotion of key messages at prime locations across the Borough”.
Some might think that the Council’s priorities should be to save money in times of austerity and cuts, and that if the bolt-on solution proposed for Hedge End was used in Eastleigh as well, that headline figure would be reduced to something like £15,000.
It’s also going to cost £6,200 a year to change the Hedge End banners three times, although the Corporate Communications Unit will seek to offset some of the costs through sponsorship of the banners.
No mention is made in the paper of consultation with Hedge End Town Council about the principle or location of these corporate image banners. I should imagine that some of the town council stalwarts who consistently oppose increased advertising along Botley Road and other places might have something to say about the precedent of using lamp posts for advertising.