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Showing posts from August 5, 2007

Carlisle council admits it was wrong to stop man handing out Christian leaflets

Carlisle Council has been forced to apologise for getting the law wrong after it tried to stop a street evangelist handing out gospel tracts. An official from Carlisle Council told Keith Bullock, an evangelist with Open-Air Mission (OAM), that he could not hand out Christian literature in the city centre without their permission. The Council claimed it was exercising legal powers that came into force last year. The new powers are aimed at preventing litter caused by large numbers of handbills handed out by nightclubs and other businesses. However, Carlisle Council seemed unaware that these laws do not apply to religious literature. Open-Air Mission contacted The Christian Institute for help. After checking out the law we helped their Director, Andy Banton, write to Carlisle Council explaining their legal rights. He pointed out that religious literature was exempt and asked for confirmation that Mr Bullock could continue his work. The council responded immediately with an unconditional

Giving Out Free Christian Literature in Public Places

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (CNEA) gives power to local authorities to control distribution of free literature in places such as town centres. This legislation only applies to England and Wales. The new council powers aim to prevent litter caused by large numbers of handbills handed out by nightclubs and other businesses. Sometimes the Police work with local councils to ensure that the law is enforced. The CNEA 2005 amends Schedule 3A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA). Section 1(1) of Schedule 3A states: "A person commits an offence if he distributes any free printed matter without the consent of a principal litter authority on any land which is designated by the authority under this Schedule, where the person knows that the land is so designated." However, Section 1(4) of Schedule 3A provides a very clear exemption for the distribution of religious or political literature and for charities. It says: (4) Nothing in this paragraph applies to