Handing out leaflets

Getting permission

If you want to give out flyers, leaflets or anything similar in Watford, you might need the council's consent.

If you give out any material without consent, you risk getting a fixed penalty notice of £100 or, if prosecuted, a fine of £1,000.

You do not need consent if the material is:

  • for (or on behalf of) a charity
  • for political or religious purposes
  • given out on private land
  • posted through letter boxes

Apply online with the relevant fee and a sample of the material you want to hand out.

We will only grant consent for up to six distributors.

We could refuse/revoke permission if:

  • we think that your activity will result in more litter
  • you have been convicted of distributing unlawfully
  • you have previously breached the conditions of a leaflet consent

We aim to issue consents within 10 working days. If you don't hear from us after 10 working days, then you can take it that you have permission to hand out leaflets.


The cost depends on:

  • how many people you want to distribute leaflets
  • the time of day you hand them out

One distributor: £50
Each additional distributor: £30 each (up to six)

Distribution between 5pm and 9am: additional cost of £20 per person

How to appeal

You may appeal to the magistrates' court if we refuse to grant consent, impose any limitation or condition on the consent, or revoke consent.

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