A STALYBRIDGE pub landlady is in dispute with Tameside Council after being told to move a planting box from land she says is not even theirs.
Gill Ogden thought the addition would improve the look outside the Q Inn from the line of cars that is often outside it on cobbles.
But the authority was very quick to tell her to move it – which proved the start of a war of words.
When she did shift the planter to underneath the pub’s window, Tameside then dug up the pavement around it.
And she claims to have learned later that the original area she placed it is not even adopted and Network Rail, which owns the neighbouring railway bridge and station, does not have a problem with it.
“They said it was causing an obstruction to the area but there’s always cars and vans parked there,” said Gill, who also has the White House in the town centre.
“We were told that we would have to move it and we would have to pay for it. I wouldn’t mind but there’s a car park very close by which costs £1.50 a day yet people still park right outside the Q then go off to work on the train.
“They block the view to the pub, so I thought I’d put a planter there and the initial response was positive as people said it made a bit of a feature as they drove into Stalybridge.
“However I moved the planter, then I was told the council would be closing the pavement where I’d moved it to, right outside the pub.
“Then I learned the area I first placed it doesn’t even belong to anyone, it’s unadopted like the road down the side of the Q.
“It’s not Tameside Council’s land, they couldn’t stop us from putting the planter there but I was told it would have to be moved and if it wasn’t moved, they would have to knock it down.
“But Tameside is putting planters up all over the place and this land does not belong to them. I think it belongs to Network Rail and they’re not bothered by it.
“Tameside are just being pedantic. They said the pavement was out of use when they dug it up and when I got the Q it was a disgrace – but they can’t have it both ways.”
Gill still has the planter outside the Q Inn – officially the shortest named pub in the county and which is now feet away from the one known as The Rifleman, the longest named one.
However, between them is the former Rose and Crown, which is falling into a state of disrepair and is a big concern.
And she is not convinced the decision to place silhouette images of people in the windows to smarten up the front was a wise one.
“For years we had rats running around in our beer garden,” Gill added. “We went to the council to see if they could do something about that but they told me the building is owned by the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.
“The door was forced open, so it looks like people are getting into it – kids have also been seen there. It was actually put back on but it’s been forced open again.
“The pictures of figures have been put on the windows but I’m not sure if that was an improvement or not.”
• The Correspondent asked Tameside Council for a comment but the council had not responded by the time the newspaper went to print.