Storm over a teacup - Lancashire mug seller says council can't 'handle' joke

rossendale mug joke
A mug's game - the council has been accused of a sense of humour failure. Credit: MEN Media

Trouble is brewing in Lancashire over the cheeky slogan on a market trader's best-selling mug.The Handmade in Rossendale Facebook page posted a series of messages poking fun at the council after the mugs - bearing the slogan "In Rossendale We Call Our Idiots ‘The Council’ "- were taken off sale at the Rawtenstall market hall stall.Council leader Alyson Barnes said “they were not trying to be the fun police”, but said the item was “disparaging” and could cause “upset”.The business, which is run by Anthony Gotts, posted: “I’ve been selling these mugs for almost three years - local councillors, politicians, council workers have all bought them along with other members of the public.

"We’ve all had a bit of fun chatting about them - they’ve been a great ice breaker. I’ve sold 122 mugs, 31 coasters, and seven signs with the slogan.”A separate post read: “Huge thanks to Rossendale Borough Council for their excellent PR campaign helping me to sell all my Idiot mugs.

"I feel inspired by my customers’ generosity so, not only am I going to donate the profit, I’ll donate the entire takings on these mugs and round it up to £150. Merry Christmas Rossendale Council.”

Rossendale Council leader Alyson Barnes: 'We’re not trying to be the fun police.'

Councillor Barnes said: “We appreciate a good laugh as much as the next person and we’re certainly not trying to be the fun police, but we think in this instance it’s not appropriate.

"Whilst I could see the humour in it, we felt that the wording on the mug was disparagingtowards the council and council staff.“We have a lot of incredibly hard-working council officers and council members who live locally, who choose to support the market and who take their work seriously and try their darndest to make things better for the residents of Rossendale.

“Market stalls offer a unique opportunity for new and fledgling businesses to get off the ground.

"A considerable amount of the council’s time and effort has been put into Rawtenstall market over the last few years in order to help the facility remain open and reach its potential.”