COUNCIL officers have been accused of ‘petty bureaucracy’ for banning festival organisers from handing out flyers at their events.
The Luddite 200 festival last month celebrated the 200th anniversary of Luddite activity in Huddersfield through a series of concerts, plays and talks.
But organisers were left fuming when Kirklees Council banned them from handing out flyers at the events.
The festival was also barred from staging a re-enactment of key Luddite events – some involving pyrotechnics – because it had not applied for a licence in time.
Organisers decided to pull the re-enactments for safety reasons but continued to flyer the event on April 26.
But the following day they received a warning from Kirklees Council.
The email addressed to Luddite 200 organiser Alan Brooke said: “You also do not have a permit for leaflet distribution and I am aware that some of your people were in Huddersfield town centre handing out literature.
“The council’s enforcement teams have been briefed regarding this matter and should you ignore the advice in this email you may find that legal proceedings are brought for any breaches of legislation.”
Someone who may not be totally impartial judging by their name is HuddsLudds.
They wrote: “Petty bureaucracy gone mad. What right has Kirklees to prohibit free literature being given out?
“This is nothing less than censorship and a breach of the right of free speech.
“I would like to see them prosecute local Luddites. The council would look completely ridiculous.
Sidwrote: “The legislation was aimed at clubs flyering in the town centre at night and aims to help recover the cost of clearing them up from the pavements where they inevitably get thrown.”
HuddsLudds wasn’t giving up: “Fair enough – but they are profit-making organisations.
“Why should community groups and voluntary organisations be penalised since their leafleting is usually small scale and targeted?”
NorweiganBlue added: “There are plenty of flyers handed out in Kirklees every weekend. The important question to ask here is whether all the people handing out flyers are treated in the same way. If not then this is a clear case of discrimination.
“However, I have to say I am against all flyers for whatever purpose. The vast majority of them end up as litter.”