One has to admire Birmingham City Council’s determination to stop city streets being disfigured by billboards.

Councillors on the authority’s planning committee could hardly have been more scathing of proposals to erect 35 advertising billboards around the city, warning of “disastrous” consequences and prospect of a “blot on the Birmingham landscape”.

One councillor even warned that Birmingham was in danger of “looking like Sandwell”, which will no doubt go down well in the borough next door.

But staff at advertising company Signature Outdoor could be forgiven for feeling confused.

It submitted the planning application after agreeing a 10-year deal to put up billboards – with the city council.

The income of £1 million a year the scheme was designed to bring in could only have come in useful during these difficult times.

There was a period when the phrase “joined up government” was in vogue. Like many buzzwords which infect politics and commerce it was hard to tell what it really meant and it now seems to have vanished, and been replaced by new jargon, without any noticeable harm being done.

But perhaps there is something in this joined up government business after all.