Safety police chop down Britain’s tallest Maypole

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Councillors are calling for Otley’s historic Maypole to be replaced after it was cut down.

Leeds City Council chiefs discovered the Otley Maypole, which is believed to be the highest permanent one in Britain, was rotting at its base during a risk assessment ahead of the Tour de France next month.

Councillors are calling on the authority to replace the pole, which had stood in Manchester Square.

Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said: “I am very concerned that Otley’s iconic Maypole has been removed. It was the largest permanent Maypole in Yorkshire, if not the world.

“I understand the decision to cut it down but I feel there could have been more public discussion.”

Councillor Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) added: “To bring the Maypole down was the right call; we never want a repeat of the tragic accident where a small child was injured when a flagpole came down last year. However, to do it in this way, with no consultation or planning is a disgrace.”

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member for cleaner, safer, stronger communities, added: “Extensive decay was detected at the base of the Maypole and that posed a serious risk to the public.”

More on Tour de France on pages 8 and 10