Council forced to reverse decision to sell poppies in libraries, MP says

MP Sir Nicholas Soames. Picture: Steve Robards
MP Sir Nicholas Soames. Picture: Steve Robards

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) were forced to reverse a decision to sell poppies in its libraries, MP Sir Nicholas Soames told the Middy.

The Conservative MP for Mid Sussex said he had spoken with Louise Goldsmith, leader of WSCC, to ask for the ban to be lifted.

He said: “I was absolutely astonished and I thought it was disgraceful. They said if they allow one collection they should allow all of them, which is absolute rubbish.

“This is the most important act of charity in our entire year. And they are denying it in a public building.

“I spoke with Louise Goldsmith and the ban was lifted.”

The leader of WSCC insisted there had ‘never been a ban’ on selling poppies.

“We have made them available in many of our buildings such as County Hall in Chichester and County Hall North in Horsham for many years,” she said.

“As the mother of a serviceman myself I appreciate the importance of the Royal British Legion’s annual poppy appeal and as a county council we support the act of remembrance in many ways including laying wreaths at war memorials and holding a minute’s silence for staff.

“Due to the vast number of charity collections nationally, we had, until recently, taken the position of not having any charity collections within our libraries.

“However, because of the historical significance and unique nature of the Royal British Legion’s fundraising campaign we have been happy to look again at this approach and I can confirm that poppies are now available to buy in our libraries.”

Yesterday marked Remembrance Sunday (November 12), which is a day for the nation to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.