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The primary purpose of tourist signs is to provide clear and consistent directions to drivers, enabling them to reach their destination safely. They are not provided to advertise or market the tourist destination. Although the Fairtrade campaign is well recognised, and the initiative is to be commended, Fairtrade is a recognised global brand that is promoting a commercial interest. As such, it is not considered suitable for inclusion in traffic signs and falls to be considered as an advertisement through the planning process.
Balerno in my constituency attained Fairtrade village status in 2013 and has been trying to promote that achievement for the past six years. The City of Edinburgh Council states that the Fairtrade signage cannot be erected, yet the same council has similar signage on the A71 at the Edinburgh boundary.
What advice or assistance can the cabinet secretary provide in order that Balerno gets the recognition that it deserves as a Fairtrade village?
The City of Edinburgh Council as the planning authority has the power to approve planning applications for Fairtrade signs in Balerno, if an application was to be made for the installation of such a sign.
At present, the council has the power and the capability to make provision for the installation of a Fairtrade sign in Balerno and any decision on whether to provide such a sign would rest with the regulatory authority, which is the City of Edinburgh Council.