England

Wistaston man told to remove bottom-baring gnome

Laurence Perry with a gnome
Image caption Mr Perry said he had "not told" the gnome yet

A man has been told to remove a gnome which is baring its bottom from a patch of grass at a road junction.

Laurence Perry, 76, of Wistaston, said Cheshire East Council told him to remove the ornament within seven days.

Mr Perry, who said the gnome's bottom "lights up" at night, added: "I've not told him... I don't want to upset him."

The council said such objects "could easily" distract motorists, as first reported by the Nantwich News.

It said it had received a complaint and while the authority did "not wish to spoil people's fun", there was "a safety issue here".

Image caption Cheshire East Council said it had received a complaint about the gnome

The gnome, which was placed at the junction by Westfield Drive, was bought for Mr Perry for Father's Day.

He said he thought most people were "very appreciative" of the work of a group of volunteers, but "one or two people... take exception to what we do".

Green-fingered Mr Perry added: "I shall probably remove him on Friday because that's when his seven days are up.

"But I want to find him a little home on my gatepost at home, so I'm sure he'll like that."

Image caption The gnome was placed at a junction in Wistaston

Mr Perry said he would not fight the council's decision.

"I've been in business all my life... and you come across these things and you just let it go over your head in the end, so it doesn't upset me," he added.

Cheshire East Council said "such objects could easily cause a distraction to motorists and other road users, leading to an accident".

A spokesman added: "We received a complaint about these ornaments which, while seemingly harmless, are designed to attract attention and light up at night.

"Therefore, we have to take steps to have them removed in the interests of road safety and the safety of pedestrians."

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