COLCHESTER Council has been left red-faced after illegal posters advertising two of its headline events were put up around the town.

The posters, promoting the Tom Jones and Tears For Fears gigs, have been put up in multiple locations including Ipswich Road, Middleborough and the Maldon Road roundabout.

The Castle Park gigs are set to attract thousands of people this summer.

The concerts are being staged by Colchester Council’s arms-length firm, Colchester Events Company, part of Colchester Amphora Trading.

The posters themselves were put up by agents on behalf of the concert promoters, LHG.

They appeared over the weekend.

The council has told those responsible to take them down as soon as possible or they could face enforcement action for fly-posting.

This is the unauthorised display of advertising signs, posters and stickers in public places, with laws designed to stop areas looking untidy and from distracting drivers.

In addition, the businesses involved are gaining an unfair advantage over their law abiding competitors by not paying for advertising space.

The posters in question measure around 3ft by 2ft wide.

A council spokesman said: “We are aware of a number of posters around the town that were put up over the weekend, without our prior knowledge, by agents acting on behalf of the event promoter LHG.

“We immediately informed LHG that the posters are illegal and should be taken down as soon as possible.

“If not, we will enforce against them under the Town & Country Planning Act 1990, which restricts flyposting and the display of adverts and other promotional materials without permission on buildings, posts, poles, litter bins and elsewhere in public, and allows us to remove posters displayed in contravention of the Advertisements Regulations.”

People caught fly-posting may be prosecuted in court where the maximum fine is £2,500. Alternatively offenders may be offered a fixed penalty notice of £75 per sign.

Enforcement is carried out by Colchester Council’s Zones Team.

Colchester Amphora Trading was set up by the council last year to take over management of events at council venues.

The authority is its only shareholder.

A spokesperson for LHG Live said: “We were advised this afternoon by Colchester Amphora Trading that a number of posters promoting the Tom Jones and Tears For Fears concerts have been placed in various locations thought the town over the weekend.

"As soon as we were made aware of the situation we contacted our marketing agency working on our behalf to remove these with immediate effect.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused both Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Amphora Trading.”