17:30 Wednesday 08 January 2014

Broken flagpole leads to 24-hour cordon at town hall

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

THE road outside Burton Town Hall was cordoned off for 24 hours after the flagpole started to overhang.

Police were left manning the scene for some time yesterday evening when the pole was snapped in two by strong winds.

Just a stump of the flagpole remained in place following the fracture, but the through-route remained closed off to protect the public.

Specialist contractors spent time at the historic building yesterday as they assessed what had happened and decided on a course of action.

It has now been removed, and the road was due to be reopened this evening.

A spokesman for East Staffordshire Borough Council, which runs the town hall, told the Mail: “Everything has been cleared now with all of the flagpole removed.

“The fracture of the flag pole was caused by the wind.

“As it has not been used for some time there are no immediate plans to replace it.”

The flag was hoisted in December as a mark of respect following the death of Nelson Mandela and Watchman IV, the Staffordshire bull terrier who was the former mascot of the Staffordshire Regiment Association.

Fire crews were called to the town hall at roughly 5.45pm yesterday, and staff from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue contacted the police.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: “We were called by the fire brigade because they were dealing with a broken flagpole on a high rise building on King Edward Place, which may present a danger to the public.”

Highways staff from Staffordshire County Council were later called to deal with the road closure and associated concerns.

This incident comes a week after police and council workers were forced to cordon off a car park in Burton because branches looked set to fall off a large tree.

Strong winds were also to blame in that case, last Tuesday.

Gusts have been battering the area for several weeks now, in a series of storms which have seen some parts of the UK submerged by floods for long periods of time.

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