Tenant ordered to remove SNP banner from historic building
It was the site of a famous street battle between Jacobites and Royal forces in 1689. Now, three centuries on, the town of Dunkeld is once again divided by politics.
Residents are in disagreement on whether a tenant in a 17th century A-listed building should be allowed to display an SNP banner in the run-up to Thursday’s general election.
Christine Claydon, who rents the upper floors of a property in the historic town centre, was told to take down a “Vote SNP” sign by her landlord yesterday.
The antiques dealer lives in a flat owned by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which has strict rules on what can be displayed on the front of properties under its care.
“The Trust was gifted one side of the street at the same time as the council was gifted the other,” she told The Scotsman.
“So you have a situation where tenants across the road are free to display banners if they so wish.”
Claydon, an SNP member, put the banner up on Friday and had planned to take it down after the election.
She said that villagers were “divided” on whether it was appropriate. “Some customers had complained to the shop downstairs,” she added.
“But I’ve since been contacted by NTS members who have told me they will not be renweing their membership in response to the way this has been handled.
“I would also say that the street was decorated with bunting by a property manager for the NTS for the Queen’s Jubilee in 2012.”
When the Trust contached her to explain the banner was against the terms in her tenancy, she agreed to take it down.
A spokesman for the National Trust for Scotland said: “A tenant in a National Trust for Scotland property in Dunkeld was contacted by staff because they had hung a large banner over the front of the building without authorisation.
“Putting aside the fact that the A-listed building was in conservation area, this action was in breach of the tenancy agreement. All banners and signage, be they political or commercial, are not permitted under the terms of the tenancy.
“Additionally, the National Trust for Scotland is a politically neutral charity – our code of conduct does not permit us to endorse or support any political party and therefore we do not permit political slogans or signs to be displayed on any of the historic buildings in our care.
“If the unauthorised banner in Dunkeld had represented any other political party, we would have taken exactly the same action. End of story.”