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Greater transparency needed from local councils re lucrative telecoms and advertising contracts

With the ongoing MHCLG consultation, “Planning Reform: supporting the high street and increasing the delivery of new homes”, supported by a handful of councils, it is interesting to interrogate some of the motivations behind the objections of some local authorities.

We note with interest an article from the Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET) publication Engineering & Technology. It highlights the ‘5G street fight’ currently taking place and reveals the complex web of contracts and deals that some of the UK’s most high-profile councils have in place with current advertising and telecoms providers.

The article spotlights on whether or not these contracts have an influence on attitudes towards the rollout of the new kiosks. As the article states, many objections to proposed kiosks are based on legitimate concerns rather than commercial self-interest. Nonetheless, the lack of transparency around these contracts certainly raises equally legitimate questions that should be asked.

What we would hope is that MHCLG, DCMS and the many progressive councils across the UK focus their attention on the upgrading of permitted development rights. By doing so they can help to maximise the vast potential of high street telecoms in the interests of citizens, businesses and UK competitiveness.


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