Election posters removed from council posts but parties can use premises

The SDLP launch their manifesto for the Assembly election at Ranfurley House and Arts Visitor Centre, Dungannon.
 Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye
The SDLP launch their manifesto for the Assembly election at Ranfurley House and Arts Visitor Centre, Dungannon. Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Assembly election posters have had to be removed from a number of council-owned posts in Cookstown following complaints from the public.

It is understood posters belonging to UUP candidate Sandra Overend and Hugh Scullion from the Workers Party were taken down from flower basket columns on Cookstown’s main street.

A spokesperson for the council said: “While the majority of the street lighting columns on Main Street which have election posters erected on them are the property of Transport NI, we can confirm that at least one belongs to the council and has been dealt with already.”

However, in relation to the use of council property for elections purposes, it would seem this is allowed.

The SDLP used council run Ranfurly House to launch their election manifesto on Monday - just a year after Sinn Finn candidate Michelle Gildernew was lambasted by the DUP for doing the same thing.

At the time, Lord Morrow said the use of council property by parties was in breach of the council’s good relations policy.

But a spokesperson for Mid Ulster District Council said: “Until a new policy is developed to harmonise the approach to booking all council facilities, Ranfurly House and other venues operate under previous arrangements.”