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Surrealist threatened, undaunted

Independent Herne Bay candidate in county elections threatened with legal action by Canterbury City Council

An Independent candidate in today’s county council elections has
been threatened with possible legal action by Canterbury City Council.

Steve Coombes, who is promoting a festival to mark the centenary
of artist Marcel Duchamp’s visit to Herne Bay, was issued with a demand
by the authority on Monday morning to take down election posters pasted
onto a pedestrian zone sign in Mortimer Street.

But Mr Coombes says he was merely highlighting a legitimate political point. The former university lecturer said:

“The sign is so illegible
and broken that the regulations which it is meant to announce are
unenforceable. Moreover, £3,000 for Herne Bay community funds was used to pay
for a traffic barrier that was not shut this Saturday, in consequence
making both the expenditure and the barrier completely ludicrous.”

Mr Coombes has not taken down the poster, or others which promote
his BLAGA awards (British Local Authority Gallery of Absurdism) at
eyesore The Bun Penny pub and King’s Road car park, where he says the
free parking scheme has gone unnoticed due to poor advertising

He said he will remove them after today’s election. But a spokesman for Canterbury council said:

“We have been
alerted by other election candidates that a road sign in Herne Bay
showing a pedestrian zone has been obscured with election material of
another candidate. This is a road safety matter for the police and Kent
Highways to deal with. We have suggested to Mr Coombes that he removes this material,
as it is in breach of highways legislation, and informed him that, if he
doesn’t, we will be urgently reporting the matter to Kent Highways.”

thisiskent 3rd May 2013

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