HUNDREDS of pounds were raised to help an effort to put poppies up around Stalybridge town centre.The Correspondent told how Tameside Council had caused anger by insisting the marks of remembrance could not be placed on lampposts as they posed a ‘safety risk’.
But traders decided to do it themselves by putting them up on trees, with Lee Stafford, Stalybridge business owner, braving pouring conditions on his own.
And the efforts proved popular as a total of £340 was raised separate of the national Poppy Appeal to help them in their work.
Despite the authority reversing its initial decision, many traders and members of the public remain angry at the stance, which was branded ‘disgusting’.
Electrical contractor Peter Taylor received the news from Tameside Council in a letter from Ian Saxon, director of operations and neighbourhoods.
He wrote: “I regret that we are not able to support your request and confirm that last year was a ‘one-off’ to commemorate the centenary for the end of the First World War.
“The council has stringent health and safety guidelines it has to comply with including stress/push testing of lamp columns and this is a service we would need to procure and we do not have the budget for it.
“I hope you can understand the reason for refusal.”
After the outcry, which went in the national press, Tameside Council changed its mind.
In a statement, they said: “We share in and fully support our local community’s desire to display poppies with pride and honour all those who have served in the Armed Services and we are pleased we have been able to work together to resolve this.
“Safety has always got to be a priority on any issue relating to the highway, so we have taken the decision to install the poppies on behalf of the community to ensure it is done with all due regard to safety and insurance requirements.”