West Midlands parish councils have been ordered to stop hanging flower baskets from lamp posts - for health and safety reasons.
A ban is being imposed by Staffordshire County Council which believes heavy watering of the baskets could "flood" electrics and cause expensive damage to the lamp columns.
The council also fears claims for compensation if the baskets fall and injure pedestrians.
Steve Bradbury, the county council's intelligent transport systems manager, is planning to write to all parishes instructing them to avoid placing hanging baskets on lamp posts.
Mr Bradbury said: "Lamp posts are only designed to keep rainfall away from the electrics, not the high concentrations used when watering."
The ban caused a storm of protest in Leek, where one town councillor described the county council's attitude as "ludicrous". Kevin Oliver said baskets had been hung from lamp posts for ten years without problems.
But the Staffordshire Parish Councils Association is backing the ban.
Chief executive Mary Booth said: "Water and electricity don't mix and having hanging baskets on lamp posts can be quite dangerous. The baskets get very heavy when they have water in them."