Shock in Otley as historic Maypole is removed

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The stump that has been left after Otley's Maypole was cut down and removed. The stump that has been left after Otley's Maypole was cut down and removed.

Otley's iconic Maypole has been taken down due to safety fears.

The action, carried out by Leeds City Council officers following an inspection of the Tour de France route, has sparked outrage.

The landmark on Manchester Square, which would have been passed directly by the race's riders, was removed after a check confirmed it was rotten and posed an "immediate danger to the public."

Otley's MP and ward councillors, who were given no notice, are demanding a replacement be installed before the Tour arrives on Saturday, July 5.

Otley Town Council Leader, Councillor John Eveleigh (Lab, Ashfield) said: "We're obviously extremely disappointed because the Maypole is a major landmark, and if it's missing for the Tour that will be very disappointing for everybody.

"It's very regrettable but on safety grounds the officers didn't have a choice."

MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) said: "People in Otley were dismayed at the sudden felling of the Maypole without the city councillors, me as the MP, or local businesses being informed - and so unable to tell people what had happened."

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