Pensioner flies the flag for patriotism

Beryl McNichol has been told to remove a Union Jack flag from her allotment on Forest Road in Mansfield.
Beryl McNichol has been told to remove a Union Jack flag from her allotment on Forest Road in Mansfield.
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A defiant pensioner has blasted council officials after ordering her to remove a flagpole from her allotment, or face eviction.

Thousands have taken to social media sites to defend plucky Beryl McNichol when she raised a UKIP and Union flag.

Mansfield District Council said she was breaching the terms of her plot agreement, but made no reference how.

However, Martyn Thurman, head of neighbourhood services, recently explained that because the Forest Road plot is council-owned land, the council had to remain impartial during election time, so ordered the removal of the UKIP flag.

But on inspection, they found health and safety issues over the flagpole, which is next to a public footpath, and ordered it be removed altogether.

Many had taken to Facebook to hit back at the council, many of whom mistakenly thought she been ordered to remove the Union flag for fear of offending people.

Mrs McNichol says the flagpole had been in position for about 20 months, and had no complaints.

The 71-year-old added: “We’ve had 90mph gales and there’s been no problem.

“I think it’s because of the UKIP flag, but have never mentioned the flag - only the flagpole.

“Nobody was bothered when it was the Union Jack.

“We are a community, we swap plants and advice and it’s a wonderful little place.

“To be threatened with eviction is horrible.”