Manchester

Stalybridge lamppost poppy ban over 'safety risks'

Poppies on trees
Image caption Trees would make safer alternative locations for the poppies, says the council

A council has banned residents from attaching plastic poppies to lampposts because they are too heavy and "can pose safety risks".

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council said any additional loads, "no matter how small", posed a risk.

The authority suggested alternative "high profile locations for poppies, such as trees".

Residents in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, have branded the decision "disgusting" and "disgraceful".

Peter Taylor, owner of electrical contractors E Taylor and Sons, had asked for permission to fix poppies to lampposts, as they did last year.

But he received a letter telling him the council could not grant permission due to insurance and cost issues.

In a subsequent statement the council said: "In general, like many other councils, we try to avoid installing anything - not just poppies - on to lampposts as it can pose safety risks and our insurers don't provide cover unless we test each individual column.

"This is not only costly to the council tax payer, lamp columns are not designed for any additional load no matter how small and particularly not for anything that is wind loading and we have a duty to take these and other safety concerns into account.

'It's stupid'

Mr Taylor, 67, told the BBC residents simply wanted to hang official plastic poppies on the same lampposts which were used during last year's event.

"They said last year was special because it was the centenary, it was a one-off," Mr Taylor said.

"It's stupid. They weigh less than 20g. They said they have to do these stress/push tests and they don't have the budget for it.

"But they said we could use trees as long as we took them down after."

Tameside Council said it paid for additional costs at last year's event "as it was the centenary" but added: "Continuing to pay these full costs year after year isn't sustainable."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites