Lauren Perry, 77, was ordered to remove two cheeky ornaments from outside his Wistaston home because they were deemed a possible distraction to motorists, the Telegraph reported.
“It has been brought to our attention that several displays and items have been placed on the highway verge in Wistaston,” read a letter from the village’s senior highways officer.
“I am sure that your intentions are meant to be humorous and light hearted. Unfortunately, not everyone shares the same sentiment,” wrote Andrea Bickerton, who gave Perry a week to take down the characters. “If you fail to remove them, the Council will remove them and recover from you the expense of doing so,” she warned.
But Perry took the letter as a real kick in the pants. “I feel very disappointed. My daughter bought them for Father’s Day as a bit of fun as she knows I like a laugh. These things are in discount stores in their hundreds on shelves,” he said.
“How can they be classed as offensive? I put them up two weeks ago — no one ever approached me to complain or ask for them to be removed. The next thing I know, this heavy-handed letter arrives,” he added.
Perry told the Telegraph that he had worked hard to turn a rough patch of trash-filled land into a more attractive area.
“It’s all been self-funded as we were turned down for funding by the parish council,” he said. “We even bought the sign that says ‘Wonderful Wistaston.’ Now I feel like replacing it with one that says ‘Miserable Wistaston.’”
Realizing there will be no fairy-tale ending, Perry said he would move one of the gnomes onto a wall and replace the other elf with one with its pants on
“Hopefully, no one will find that offensive. You’d think Cheshire East highways had more important things to worry about — like clearing out all the gulleys full of weeds,” he railed.
A council spokesman said village leaders “do not wish to spoil people’s fun,” but that “there is a safety issue here as such objects could easily cause a distraction to motorists and other road users, leading to an accident.”