The councillor was able to speak to the group and explain our position - that we needed to take urgent action to take down the "head" figure temporarily in the interests of public safety ahead of a consultation.
The group, who had ladders, then decided they would remove the figure themselves for safe keeping and, not wanting to create a confrontation, in the circumstances we did not object.
The sign was gifted to the District Council a number of years ago. As of 11 June the head figure is in council possession and in safe secure storage pending further public discussions on its future.
For clarity, if any decision was taken in the future to remove the head permanently, it would need listed building consent and, as a Grade II* listed structure, would require consultation with Historic England. Because it has a Grade II* listing, we cannot grant consent to ourselves without referral.
We won't be making any further comment for the time being.