Council moves to quell Union Jack row on Mansfield allotment

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Mansfield District Council has moved to defuse a growing row after an allotment holder was ordered to remove a Union Jack flag that was flying from her allotment plot in the town.

Hundreds of people have taken to social media to vent their anger at the council’s decision to order the flag be removed from the Forest Road plot.

However, the council explained that the woman was initially order to remove a UKIP flag, but concerns over the safety of the flagpole itself is the reason why the Union Jack was asked to be taken down.

They deny it had anything to do with the flag being ‘offensive’, as some have suggested.

Martyn Thurman, head of neighbourhood services at Mansfield District Council, said: “Following complaints about the display of a political party’s flag on a council-owned allotment, the allotment holder was asked to remove the flag.

“Councils are required by law to act impartially at all times and it is particularly important that impartiality is not brought into question during the sensitive time leading up to elections.

“The flying of a political party’s flag on a council-owned allotment, may call into question that impartiality and for this reason the allotment holder was asked to remove this flag.

“On inspection, concerns were raised about the safety of the unsecured flagpole, which is near a highway and a footpath.

“In order to ensure the safety of the public, the allotment holder agreed to remove the political flag and a second flag to reduce the risk of the wind bringing down the pole. The allotment holder was given assistance to do this on Tuesday 28 April and has agreed to remove the pole.

“The allotment holder’s tenancy has not been terminated.

“Allotments are provided for growing food and not for any other purpose.”