A BLACKBURN company that provides digital LED screens for hire has questioned why the council has overlooked its services despite its ‘stay local’ message.

Tatlow Signs Limited has been based in the town since 1984 and has worked with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council for many years.

However, despite the massive increase in demand for such signage prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, the company has not been contracted to supply Covid safety screens with the borough council instead opting for a firm based miles outside of the town.

Managing director Richard Tatlow said: “We have contacted Blackburn with Darwen about using our digital advertising screens for Covid information and any other Blackburn with Darwen campaigns, but to no avail.

“One of the councils’ messages is ‘stay local, stay safe’ yet Blackburn with Darwen council is using a digital advertising company that is based in London and York!”

Covid safety screens have become a well recognised fixture around the town, along with many other across the UK, since the onset of the pandemic, with authorities needing to relay vital information to local populations in the most direct manner possible.

Tatlow Signs Limited, Gate Street, Blackburn, says it offers top of the range high quality digital LED screens for hire with previous clients including National Grid, BMW, and East Lancashire Hospice.

Mr Tatlow says procuring such essential items from local companies would have multiple benefits, helping to control infections by limiting travel into and out of the borough, would be more convenient to all concerned and would provide a crucial boost to the local economy.

This is especially significant given the huge toll the pandemic had had on Blackburn’s economy and on local jobs.

However, he and the company were deeply disappointed when the council instead selected the outside firm, believing this contradicts their ‘stay local, stay safe’ campaign.

Despite this, officials have said they followed standard practice and that dealing with the pandemic remains their top priority in these matter.

A Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council spokesperson said: “We have internal governance arrangements in place which we have followed here.

“Clearly at the moment we have a duty to get vital public health messages out to residents, reacting quickly to an ever-changing situation around Covid in the most expedient way possible.

“We will consider Tatlow Signs for any future campaigns.”