A FLORAL centrepiece displayed on Halesowen’s barren Grange Road roundabout has been removed by Dudley Council on health and safety grounds.
Council chiefs were worried for the donor’s safety in crossing the busy A456 interchange to tend to the tiny display.
But nearby resident Tim Weller, who donated the display, accused the local authority of running a “nanny state”.
“I am 66 and old enough to know when it’s safe to cross the road onto the roundabout,” he said.
Undeterred, Mr Weller has replaced his floral protest, which the council took away on Friday, with five primulas – and another resident has added a pot of greenery.
The guerrilla gardener said: “The aim is to embarrass the council into doing something themselves on a more appropriate scale. This is the only major roundabout in the country which has not been landscaped in 50 years.
“I hope Dudley Council will allow the primulas ro remain. I can’t see why they should interfere and remove my decorative centrepiece.”
His protest has gained support from Halesowen councillors Hilary Bills and David Vickers, who both serve on the Halesowen in Bloom committee.
Cllr Bills said: “We have discussed that awful roundabout on numerous occasions. Personally, I prefer it when the snow is down and you then have a lovely pattern of tyre marks on it made by motorists who don't even know there is a roundabout there.”
Mr Weller’s would like to see a low maintenance a wild flower planting scheme to replace the drab expanse of tarmac, but Cllr Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for transportation, repeated that no money is available from the council’s cash-strapped budget.
He added that the plants had to be removed “because of the serious safety implications for people walking across such a busy junction to tend to it. We have kept them in case the owner wants to collect them from us."
Mr Weller, of Hunnington Crescent, drove to the council depot in Netherton to retrieve his £30 display.
Cllr Bills added that she did not realise the Girl Guides and Brownies were “guerrilla gardening” when they planted daffodils in the 1980s on Mucklow Hill – and called for more of it.