After ten years, dispute over illegal hand railings on Fur island nears its end

A ten-year dispute over a hand railing on a lookout post on Fur, a Danish island in the Limfjord, may finally be resolved.

The year-long battle over railings on the Danish island of Fur may soon be over. Photo by Nicholas Beel / Unsplash

Updates to the Museum Act, which Acting Culture Minister Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen implemented this summer, could end the dispute on the hand railing, the newspaper Jyllands-Posten reports.

The change in the law came into force at the end of the summer. Thus, it seems that the railing, which a group of pensioners put up, can remain standing.

Until now, no railings have been allowed on tumuli such as this.

According to Jyllands-Posten, the argument for the ban was “to protect historical monuments from destruction”.

A ten-year-long dispute

Ten years ago, during an inspection, the Danish Cultural Heritage Agency discovered that a railing had been installed at the stairs to the Bette Jens Hyw lookout post.

From there, people usually enjoy a view of Mors, Thy, and Himmerland. The railing was removed after the inspection.

A group of residents then began to put up new railings in protest against the ban on railings. Every time, the agency and Skive Municipality acted, removing new hand railings.

Halsboe-Jørgensen is not the first minister to have visited the disputed site.

In 2019, then Minister of Culture Mette Bock also visited Fur. She refused to lift the handrail ban at the time, saying that if she were to give permission to Fur, she would also have to give permission to such actions everywhere else.

However, the residents continued to put up railings.

“We have been dealing with it for a few years now and put up five railings,” Anton Simonsen told Jyllands-Posten.

He has lived on Fur since 1964. Now, however, his year-long battle for the railing may soon be over, as this week, Skive Municipality decided to send out an application for dispensation from the railing ban.

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Danish Liberal party demands ‘high ambitions’ from Social Democrats

Liberal (Venstre) party leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen has said ambitions “above normal” should be aimed for in talks to form a government across the political centre.

Danish Liberal party demands ‘high ambitions’ from Social Democrats

On December 6th, ongoing negotiations to form a government will tie the all-time record for Denmark’s longest ever with the 35-day negotiation of 1975.

But the Liberal party is still holding out for more concessions from Frederiksen and the Social Democrats, its leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said after another major party on the right, the Conservatives, quit the talks over the weekend.

“The Liberals will continue negotiations with the Social Democrats in the coming days,” Ellemann-Jensen wrote on Twitter.

“If the Liberals are to commit to an agreement with the Social Democrats – whether in opposition or in government – the content of that agreement should be above the usual level of political ambition,” he said.

Ellemann-Jensen has cited to changes to the top tax bracket as a party priority, though that’s been a non-starter for the Social Democrats. 

The Liberals also hope to lower inheritance tax as well as income taxes for Denmark’s most modest earners, newswire Ritzau reports.

The withdrawal of the Conservatives means the Liberals are the only party on the right who could realistically enter government with the Social Democrats.

Six of the 12 parties elected to parliament at the election now remain in government talks with the Social Democrats.

These are the Liberals, Liberal Alliance and Danish People’s Party from the ‘blue bloc’ and the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) and Socialist People’s Party (SF), from the red bloc side. The centrist Moderates are the final party.

READ MORE: ‘Topskat’: What is Denmark’s high income tax bracket?