The Daily Mail has reported on the array of public bodies fined for not flying the EU flag, or some equivalent outrage such as failing to display the EU logo with due prominence. An EU spokesman said it was "total lunacy" to suggest Northampton University had been fined £56,477.70 for failing to fly the EU flag – it had been fined for failing to display an EU billboard. So that's all right then.
The full list of culprits is as follows:
1. Advantage West Midlands (Regional Development Agency) for the "Marketing the Region" project. Fined £201,801.
This project was to fund publicity material to promote the West Midlands to tourists and inward investors. In approx 2003 the then marketing consultants for AWM took the decision not to use the EU logo on the material to avoid having a confused brand image. They were unaware of the requirements of ERDF on publicity. This error was identified 2 years later, at which point AWM voluntarily withdrew this ERDF expenditure and repaid it.
2. Birmingham Chamber of Commerce for the "PROF-IT" project. Fined £77,609
A corporate event run by the former Business Link Birmingham and Solihull, which was part funded by ERDF. Corporate branding was used for the event rather than any acknowledgement of the ERDF
contribution. Therefore a flat rate penalty of 10% imposed and £77,609 was repaid.
3. Peterborough YMCA for the "YMCA Red Triangle" project, Fined £1,325.00
Failure to display ERDF logo and include on publicity material. The amount of ineligible ERDF was borne by Peterborough City Council.
4. North Tyneside Council. Refurbishment of Whitley Bay Playhouse project. Fined £16,450,
As a result of an audit inspection it was found that there were a number of failings in the management of this project, of which the lack of publicity was one. As these failings contravened the terms of the ERDF letter an irregularity was raised and the council has repaid in full.
5. One North East for the "International Trade and Support Services" project. Fined £28,497
As a result of an audit inspection it was found that there were a number of failings in the management of this project, of which the lack of publicity was one. As these failings contravened the ERDF regulations the RDA repaid £28,497.
6. Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council. "Inclusive Enterprise (Yorkshire and Humber)" project. Fined £5,250.
Failure to appropriately advertise ERDF support during radio advert.
7. University of Northampton. "Modelling and Visualisation Centre (East Midlands)" project. Fined £56,477.70.
The project did not have the required billboard up in time (8 week period).
8. Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. "South Black Country SUD Package (West Midlands)" project. Fined £5,046.
Failure to acknowledge ERDF Programme in text or display logos in job adverts.
9. The National Museum of Labour History. "Peoples History Museum (North West)" project. Fined £7,223.
No logo on billboard.
10. North West Vision and Media. "NW Vision and Media Cluster Development (North West)" project. Fined £12,005.
Marketing materials without logo.
11. Merseytravel. "James Street Underground Station (North West)" project. Fined £13,600.
Insufficient publicity at project start.
12. The Merseyside Partnership. "Partners for Tourism (North West)" project. Fined £5,492.50.
Use of incorrect logo.
13. Business Link. "Business Link Brokerage Service (North West)" project. Fined £5,296.47.
Job Advertisement without ERDF logo.
As Robert Neill says in his reply:
"The irony of the museum housing the Labour party's archives being fined for not flying the EU flag should not be lost on hon. Members."