New Mills council denies “poppygate” claims

Web tile council
Web tile council

New Mills Town Council has denied threatening to dispose of the Royal British Legion’s poppies stored in the town hall, in a bid to calm the media storm surrounding it.

As reported last month, acting clerk Lesley Bramwell wrote to Jeff Lawton, New Mills poppy appeal organiser, to say he had stored his leftover poppies, collection boxes and wreaths in the building “without authority from or agreement with the council”.

In the letter dated January 21, which was shown to the Advertiser, she said: “Because of this I have been informed by the town council to contact you to inform you that you must remove these items within the next seven days. I have to point out that if they are not removed within this period, they will be removed and disposed of.”

Vice chair of the council Cllr Lance Dowson said: “With regard to the poppies, the number discovered was some 23,750 poppies. In addition to these, there were also hundreds of other Remembrance Day items, wreaths, collecting boxes and tins etc, totalling nearly 25,000 items. The council did offer to consider storing these items in the town hall and did inform the poppy appeal organiser what he would need to do to facilitate that but he chose not to accept this offer and moved them. The council has never said that it was going to bin, burn or destroy the poppies in any way and would never consider such a ridiculous and disrespectful action. The council deeply regrets the amount of upset this has caused.”

The poppies are now being stored in St George’s Parish Church, on Church Lane, New Mills.