Woman 'ordered to cover up nude garden gnomes'

A woman who claims a council official ordered her to cover up her naked garden gnomes following complaints from a neighbour spoke today of her anger.

Gnome collector Sandra Smith said she was told to put clothes on three of her favourite ornaments because they were deemed offensive.

The 64-year-old initially hid their modesty with T-shirts and cowboy hats but later removed the clothing following advice from a local police officer.

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The grandmother, from Hunnington, Halesowen, West Midlands, said: "I had a telephone call from an officer from Bromsgrove District Council who said could I please cover them up because they were offensive to my neighbour.

"I am more than annoyed. I have been here for 40 years and never had any complaints.

"I did cover them up with T-shirts and cowboy hats and a police officer who came to investigate something nearby said to take them off because they are not offensive. They are sold in garden centres."

A spokesman for Bromsgrove District Council said the authority had no record of any "gnome-related incidents".

He said: "Council guidelines are statutory, not statuary, and do not explicitly grant authority over garden furniture of this kind.

"Resolving an issue of this kind would not be a matter for Bromsgrove District Council.

"When we checked none of our service departments had a record of any gnome-related incidents in the Hunnington area and none of our staff recall receiving such a memorable query."