Calls grow for new maypole in Leeds town

Otley's maypole, in Manchester Square, was cut down earlier this year. Picture: Ross Parry.

Otley's maypole, in Manchester Square, was cut down earlier this year. Picture: Ross Parry.

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Councillors are calling for their town’s historic maypole to be replaced by Christmas.

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

Proposals for a new maypole, in Manchester Square, have been recently given the green light by the authority but local councillors are urging them to have it reinstalled by Christmas.

Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said: “The maypole was cut down in the height of summer.

“At the time we were promised that it would be restored as soon as possible.

“No-one expected it to take five months but the truth is that we are now fighting to have it back in its rightful place by Christmas.”

A maypole has graced Otley for more than half a century.

Council chiefs say work as part of the £56,000 scheme will get underway once delivery of the new maypole is taken over the next few months.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for cleaner, safer and stronger communities, added: “It is really great news that funding has been given the go-ahead by Leeds City Council to install a new maypole in Otley’s historic Manchester Square.

“Work on the site is expected to start in December, and we are really looking to taking delivery of the new maypole, which we hope will be with us by the latest, early 2015.”

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