A 71 year old pensioner named Beryl Mcnichol erected an 18ft flag pole onto her allotment in Mansfield about 18 months ago. Since she had it fitted she has flown various flags including the United Kingdom flag and a ‘Lest We Forget’ Flag on VE day. The flagpole has become a popular feature for other allotment users as well as members of the public. However in the run up to the election Beryl decided to fly a UKIP flag to show her support for the Numpty Brigade.
She was then contacted by the council and told to remove the flagpole immediately or face eviction from her allotment plot. Mrs. Mcnichol informed the council that she would need to hire a contractor to remove the pole as she was unable to do it herself. She was promptly issued another letter stating that if it was not removed at once she could face eviction.
The community council’s argument to remove the pole was because it was considered hazardous. i.e it could fall on a passing pedestrian or motor vehicle. They also argued that allotments were for growing vegetables and not for raising Flag Poles. However Martyn Thurman head of neighbourhood services stated that they had wanted the UKIP flag removed because the council wanted to seem politically neutral.
Now, we all know that my stance (and the general stance of The Shonk) of the UKIP’s is that they’re idiots. That’s putting it mildly, but we also encourage individuals to have a political voice and you can’t ignore anyone. I understand why people support UKIP and as someone to supports a representative election system I would have to agree to their entitlement of seats just as much as the next person.
Whenever I drove past UKIP signs I would tut or swear and probably get on a rant regardless of whether or not anyone was in the car. But I think that the reason the council have given this woman to take the Flag down is a lousy one, “we want to remain politically neutral” – Well how the fuck can you grow vegetables on the allotment then? Tomatoes are red, leaves are green, beetroot is purple and peppers are yellow. That’s most of the party spectrum covered! We just need some nice little blue slug pellets to represent The Tories and we’re sorted!
You need planning permission to put up a permanent flag-pole especially one that is 18ft high, that goes without saying and yes I would agree that the Flag-pole is in breach of her allotment tenancy agreement. If the pole isn’t concreted to the floor and is just roped to a barrel of bricks then yes it is dangerous and should come down.
Why did the council wait over 18 months to tell her that it had to come down? Why let an elderly woman go to the effort of putting up a flagpole to brighten up people’s day and then sitting back and waiting for over a year before saying “actually, that has to go?”. Also by stating that they wished to remain politically neutral? That shouldn’t have had anything to do with it. People in rented houses can put up a window card showing the party they support, no one knocks their door and threatens to evict them because of it.
The council have now caused a stir over this and to be honest they deserve to be picked up on this. There is no way that they could have missed an 18 foot flag pole in the time that it has been up, they’ve been childishly threatened by a purple flag and instead of asking the nice lady if she could remove it they decided to kick her out of her home, flag pole and all.
I know a lot of people will have different views on this, the article which inspired my argument was taken from the grubby pages of the Daily Mail (gross I know) you can view it here: