Community leaders have savaged
an advertising campaign which names and shames streets in Coventry
where residents do not have a TV licence.
Coventry North East MP Bob
Ainsworth has joined Cllr David Cairns and Rev Nerissa Jones in
voicing dismay over the decision to use a road in Wood End.
The adverts, which are being
run in cities all over the country, reveal how many houses in a
particular road do not have a licence.
Mr Ainsworth has joined the
chorus of disapproval at the use of Milverton Road in the adverts.
He said he is writing a letter
of complaint to the TV Licensing Authority to express his disgust at
the use of “negative and demoralising tones” in an area where many
are working hard to improve life for the residents.
£50 million is being pumped
into Wood End and the surrounding areas to try and revitalise them
under the Government’s New Deal for Communities scheme.
Mr Ainsworth said:
“There are a great many
people working hard at uplifting the Wood End area and this type of
campaign is a disgrace which casts aspersion on whole streets.
“When they shamed villains
in medieval times by public humiliation, they put them in the
stocks, but they didn’t put their neighbours in the stocks as
"I want them to get the
people who break the law and make them pay, their TV licence. I
don't want them to put a stigma on a particular address."
Complaints previously made to
the Advertising Standards Authority about the campaign have been
Alyson Koe, of TV Licensing,
said the streets were pulled out at random, but tended to be long
roads so the campaign would have an impact.
“TV Licensing makes no
apologies for this campaign. It has proved extremely successful in
tackling evasion in other cities across the UK.
"We aim to make TV
licence evaders realise that they will be caught and to show the
general public that we are taking action against these people who
are being unfair on the honest majority who do pay their licence.
"We can assure Mr
Ainsworth that the streets are randomly selected and chosen without
"Our database collates
all the streets in a general area where two or more unlicensed
properties are listed. Major streets are then identified as these
will act as a focal point for the community and be easily
"They do not represent
evasion hot-spots. The aim is illustrate that we have the tools to
pinpoint where vasion is taking place."
Streets being used in the
campaign are Milverton Road, Wood End; Lapworth Road Wood End; Willenhall Lane, Willenhall;
Hawthorne Lane, Eastern Green; Glendower Avenue, Whoberely; Rotherham
Road, Holbrooks; Charter Avenue, Canley; Beake Avenue, Radford..