A Leighton councillor has admitted he stitched up the town’s superhero to Central Beds Council in a move that has enraged supporters.
Councillor Ray Berry says he reported The Buzzard, who perched above The Office on Lake Street, to the enforcement officer after receiving two complaints.
Mr Berry said: “If they want it inside the pub I have no problem with that, but at the end of the day it is a conservation area so the buildings are all part of the old town structure. It does not do anything for the town’s appearance.
“It appears to be petty but it’s just the tip of the iceberg and if you let it go, it snowballs. We are not a fairground.”
In reaction to Mr Berry’s comments, David Smith, who began a petition to save the superhero which has gathered over 1,000 signatures, said: “I think when people use the phrase ‘tip of the iceberg’ it often means they have an argument, so that is a lot of nonsense. If he is saying it is not in keeping with the town, then he’s saying people are boring, no fun or sense of humour and that does not sound like the people of Leighton Buzzard or indeed its visitors.
“To have only had two complaints for something that is quite different is extraordinary. It just shows that is does not upset people or warrant the kind of attention the council have given it.”
Mr Berry, who sits on Central Beds’ development management committee added: “I do not believe we should change the rules for this. We are trying to make the town a better, nicer place to live.
“It is a bit of fun, I agree, and it was done as a joke to make people laugh, but that was short term. The joke is over. It is actually quite tacky; it’s a bit of old tat. I’m the person who kicked it off with the enforcement officer and in doing so I admit I am personally involved, so I would not be able to vote if it went in front of the development management committee.”