Church cash fears after signs removed

Mick Seymour with the signs.
Mick Seymour with the signs.
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A CHURCH could be left seriously out of pocket after signs promoting its main fundraising event were removed from the roadside.

A number of signs posted along the A17 pointing passers-by to Fleet St Mary Magdalene Church’s flower festival were removed by Lincolnshire County Council highways workers.

But churchwarden Mick Seymour says the flower festival, which runs from May 3 to 8, is the largest financial contributor to church coffers and relies on the signs to alert passing cars.

Mr Seymour, who is also a South Holland district councillor, rang the highways department for an explanation after the signs were removed.

He said: “We’ve have had signs out for 30 or 40 years in roughly the same spot and have never had a problem with them.

“We rely on fundraising for the church all through the year and the flower festival is the main fundraising event.

“Fleet church costs £20,000 to £30,000 a year to run and if we cannot raise the money we will lose the church.

“We’ve now got to negotiate where we can get the signs off the highway where county will not touch them.

“Until then we’ve got no advertising at all.”

Head of highways Steve Willis said it had dealt with a large number of signs on the A17 in the past week, some bigger that the road signs they were attached to.

He said: “they can distract people from driving and were removed by our contractors.

“We have met the churchwarden and advised him of locations he can put smaller signs off the highway.”

But Mr Willis said highways was not responsible for the removal of signs promoting St George’s Day celebrations in Long Sutton.

Organisers of the event say they have lost signs worth about £250 which had been tied to road signs in the town ahead of the events last weekend.

It had been hoped the signs could be used again in future years but organisers do not know who now has them.

Jack Tyrell, chairman of Events and Entertainment in Long Sutton, said: “We had people coming from as far as Cornwall for the re-enactment groups. “The signs were all in the town. There were parade signs showing the route of the parade and showing where to come in Cinder Ash Park.

“We know it was only ours that were targeted. There were others left up.”

He added: “It was annoying.”