FRIENDS of a breast cancer patient who decorated the street with bunting made from bras are celebrating after the local council backed down over its threat to tear down the tribute.
Chestnut Avenue in Kirkcaldy, Fife, is adorned with thousands of bras in support of Angela Taylor, 41, who was diagnosed with the disease in August.
Fife Council caused outrage and disbelief after it suggested the bra bunting could be removed following a complaint about health and safety.
Following a single complaint, officials were investigating whether the bras could cause injury if they fell down and had asked for the bunting to come down. One campaigner was so angry she had to be hospitalised after kicking a wall in anger.
Barely 24 later, following an angry backlash, the local councillor for the area revealed that she had been assured the bras were safe.
Chestnut Avenue resident Vicki Lister, 33, started the chain in support of her neighbour Angela and received bras from all over the UK.
While most locals got involved in the effort, one person complained that the bras were “offensive” and “may fall down and hurt someone”.
Vicki said the council’s decision to take the complaint seriously left her in tears and “devastated”.
She said: “The phone call to say I had to remove the bras left me shocked and in tears. People thought I was joking when I told them we had to take the bras down. There were plenty of adults and children crying with many very angry over the council’s heartless demands.
“Angela doesn’t want them down either as they’re helping her remain focused.”
The campaign proved so popular that green wheelie bins in the street were left overflowing with bras donated from all over the country.
But there was great news this morning for the campaigners as well as Angela, who is due to start treatment next week.
Local councillor Judy Hamilton revealed: “Following my intervention last night and this morning, officers have agreed not to pursue this.
“We will be in touch with the community to ensure any genuine safety concerns are addressed, but this fantastic campaign is allowed to continue.
“The bra chains stay where they are!”
Vicki said: “It’s a huge achievement for the community – there are no words to express how grateful I am for everyone’s support.
“We were devastated to hear the news that we had to take them down. One woman even split her shin open kicking a wall in frustration and had to go to hospital.
“All it took was for one person to complain and the hard work of the whole community was at risk.
“It was a silly complaint – what we are trying to do is raise awareness of cancer.
“Since the bunting has gone up I know of three people who have gone to get checked, and two are now going for further tests.
“We will stay united and carry on putting up the bras – we’ve received well over a thousand now.”
Angela, who has three children, said: “I was absolutely gutted to hear the news when the council said we had to take the bras down.
“Everybody had been so great and put in so much effort, and for one person to complain was just not nice.
“Thank God the council have decided to let us keep them up. What started off as one small chain spiralled and now all the streets are covered.
“It’s a really impressive sight and everyone is talking about it. It’s wonderful that some people have gone and got checked off the back of it – if we save just one life it’ll be worth it.”
Fife senior transportation officer Soma Raviraj said: “Local councillors are discussing with the campaign organisers how Fife Council can assist them without compromising the safety of local people.
“However, we do not encourage people to hang anything from streetlights because of safety concerns.”