Pub landlord ordered to take down England flag bunting

His local council in Rochdale told him that he must take them down for health and safety reasons

A patriotic landlord in Rochdale, who put up England flag bunting on the outside of his pub for Euro 2016, has been told that it must be taken down because it violates the Highway Act.

Steve Butterworth, owner of The Sportsman pub, in Whitworth, Rochdale, said that no complaints had been made about the flags until he heard from his local council, who told Mr Butterworth that he had to remove the decorations because it “contravenes the highway code”.

Landlord told to take down bunting due to health and safety fears

The Sportsman in Rochdale

Lancashire County Council considered the flags, which hung above the street, as “hazardous” even though they were tied securely to lamps on the roof of the pub and to some trees across the road.

Mr Butterworth told the Manchester Evening News that he put up the three strips of 30m plastic England flag buntings to celebrate both the Queen’s 90th birthday and the start of Euro 2016.

He went on to say how he had received a call from the council saying that it must be taken down because it contravenes the Highways Act.

“I could not believe it. I was gutted. I told her that she should send the request over in writing.” Said Mr Butterworth.

He added: “The flags are not going to kill someone, they are plastic. It’s sad it has come to this. There is enough bad in the world and this was just a bit of cheer, but now we are being forced to take it down.”

A photo was taken outside The Sportsman pub, showing an angry group of supporters standing under the England flag bunting giving the finger.

The picture was posted on Facebook by angry pub regulars and Mr Butterworth received lots of support – 1,000 likes and shares!

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