Bolton Council refuses to reveal how much Lidl paid for Chequerbent roundabout adverts in Westhoughton

Mike Jolly

Mike Jolly

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

BOLTON Council has refused to reveal how much money supermarket giant Lidl paid to build four advertising boards on the Chequerbent roundabout in Westhoughton.

The council told The Bolton News, in response to a freedom of information request, that disclosure would “prejudice its commercial interests”.

But Mike Jolly, who owns a model racing shop in Daisy Hill, said he was recently quoted £5,000 to sponsor a different roundabout, having twice been told to remove basic street signage near his shop.

He said this is “an awful lot” of money and not something he will be doing “anytime soon”.

In its response, Bolton Council admitted there was public interest in “transparency” of the activities of local authorities, but this was outweighed by the council lessening “the burden on the public purse”.

Mr Jolly, aged 53, set up his model racing shop two years ago after he started selling products on eBay when his grandchildren renewed his interest in the hobby.

He said: “Lidl is a bit bigger than me and sadly this is out of my reach.

“A very nice marketing lady came to see me with a brochure of things that I could look into.

“There may be other ways to promote the brand, such as sponsoring council events.

“But everything costs money.”

He wanted to retain a directional sign on a lamppost near his Daisy Hill shop but was told he did not qualify as he was “a business”.

Lidl’s signs are council-owned and available for businesses to use for a fee, which includes the local authority obtaining planning permission for them.

Bolton Council said: “Settling on an agreed amount for signage involves a process of negotiation, during which the council will always attempt to secure the best price possible.

“Should the other party be aware in advance of amounts of money that the council has secured in the past from other organisations, this would skew the process in their favour and negatively impact the council’s ability to secure a higher price.

“The council has also considered the public interest test in relation to the release of this info.

“The council accepts that there is a public interest in transparency where the activities of public authorities are concerned.

“However, in this situation the council believes that disclosure would detrimentally impact upon its ability to bring in monies and that there is a greater public interest in public authorities securing maximum funding of this type to lessen the burden on the public purse.”

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:06am Fri 11 Jul 14

oftbewildered2 says...

so it is as we all guessed - just down to money. it is bad enough negotiating that roundabout at peak times, without being distracted by advertising signs. I don't disagree with advertising - but this is the wrong location.
so it is as we all guessed - just down to money. it is bad enough negotiating that roundabout at peak times, without being distracted by advertising signs. I don't disagree with advertising - but this is the wrong location. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 12

10:29am Fri 11 Jul 14

marco999 says...

And anyone is surprised by this? I'm only amazed they've not built houses on the roundabout with it being one of the few bits of land left in Westhoughton. Typical council - kerching.
And anyone is surprised by this? I'm only amazed they've not built houses on the roundabout with it being one of the few bits of land left in Westhoughton. Typical council - kerching. marco999
  • Score: 7

11:07am Fri 11 Jul 14

pecky2k says...

Commercial interests? Thought the council was voted by the people for the people not for commercial gain......
Corruption again!!
Commercial interests? Thought the council was voted by the people for the people not for commercial gain...... Corruption again!! pecky2k
  • Score: 9

11:53am Fri 11 Jul 14

thomas222 says...

Council do and its commercial benefit you do it and it becomes fly posters.
Council do and its commercial benefit you do it and it becomes fly posters. thomas222
  • Score: 42

12:29pm Fri 11 Jul 14

John Edwards says...

Mike Jolly should display his wares on the pavement like our Asian brethren do. The council allow these shop keepers to do what they like, just like the taxi drivers can. There is a shop in Farnworth, that takes up nearly half the footpath with it's goods. It never has a problem with the council. It does make you think what is going on in the council. Three cheers for Bolton council, I think not.
Mike Jolly should display his wares on the pavement like our Asian brethren do. The council allow these shop keepers to do what they like, just like the taxi drivers can. There is a shop in Farnworth, that takes up nearly half the footpath with it's goods. It never has a problem with the council. It does make you think what is going on in the council. Three cheers for Bolton council, I think not. John Edwards
  • Score: 69

1:04pm Fri 11 Jul 14

cliff4treasurer says...

This because the council staff who "negotiate" on our behalf are naïve where business is concerned and the reason they won't tell us is because anyone with any negotiating skills over 10 years old would know they have not "negotiated" enough probably (?) it's not there money so why try too hard.
This because the council staff who "negotiate" on our behalf are naïve where business is concerned and the reason they won't tell us is because anyone with any negotiating skills over 10 years old would know they have not "negotiated" enough probably (?) it's not there money so why try too hard. cliff4treasurer
  • Score: -1

1:29pm Fri 11 Jul 14

picturesmash says...

The whole public domain advertising revenue business is a very shady cartel-esque operation. I tried to prize out information from the council last year as part of my Uni research into why there has been no public art in Bolton for years. These corporate signs add nothing at all to our quality of life, and actually distract drivers.
The whole public domain advertising revenue business is a very shady cartel-esque operation. I tried to prize out information from the council last year as part of my Uni research into why there has been no public art in Bolton for years. These corporate signs add nothing at all to our quality of life, and actually distract drivers. picturesmash
  • Score: 0

8:19pm Fri 11 Jul 14

boltonnut says...

The council refuse to say how much so they can skim their "backhanders" off Lidl
The council refuse to say how much so they can skim their "backhanders" off Lidl boltonnut
  • Score: 41

1:11pm Sat 12 Jul 14

adatherton says...

Mike, you can get a commercial billboard for a lot less than £5,000 a year.

Also the Chequerbent roundabout, along with the ones around Middlebrook are the absolute top sites in the borough. They are going to be very expensive. Have you tried to get the one near Daisy Hill station? That would be much cheaper. Also there is a borough entry sign from Atherton on Schofield Lane. Michelle at Bolton MBC is very helpful, I am sure she could find something for you. These signs are normally one-year contracts, so you could go on a waiting list if already sold.

To others, roundabout signs are an income stream for the council, keeps your rates lower.
Mike, you can get a commercial billboard for a lot less than £5,000 a year. Also the Chequerbent roundabout, along with the ones around Middlebrook are the absolute top sites in the borough. They are going to be very expensive. Have you tried to get the one near Daisy Hill station? That would be much cheaper. Also there is a borough entry sign from Atherton on Schofield Lane. Michelle at Bolton MBC is very helpful, I am sure she could find something for you. These signs are normally one-year contracts, so you could go on a waiting list if already sold. To others, roundabout signs are an income stream for the council, keeps your rates lower. adatherton
  • Score: 1

8:36pm Sun 13 Jul 14

JustBecause says...

Another none story....

Mike needs to grow up, and concentrate on his own business instead of worrying about what others are allowed, or not allowed to do. If he cannot afford to advertise legally the tuff.
Another none story.... Mike needs to grow up, and concentrate on his own business instead of worrying about what others are allowed, or not allowed to do. If he cannot afford to advertise legally the tuff. JustBecause
  • Score: -38

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree