The rules for flying flags above Preston Town Hall have been amended.Advertisement
Councillors agreed last night to change the rules so the ruling party must consult all group leaders before wanting to fly any flags not listed in the current policy.
Currently only the Union flag, Rainbow flag, Guild City Flag, Commonwealth Flag, Armed Forces Flag, St George’s Day flag or the Lancashire Day flag can be flown during the course of the year.
Now any request to fly a different flag must be discussed with other party leaders before being approved.
The move comes after the controversy about the Palestinian flag being flown for a short period during a Gaza peace march.
Council leader Peter Rankin and cabinet member for community and environment, Robert Boswell, were criticised for the decision to fly the flag.
Deputy Conservative leader Julie Buttle, who represents Lea and Cottam, tabled a motion asking for “a cross party discussion should take place prior to the decision to fly any flag being made.”
The debate during the council meeting also revealed the original request to fly the Palestinian flag came from Ashton councillor Elizabeth Atkins.
She said it was “an entirely humanitarian impulse that drew me.”
The debate lasted more than hour in the council chamber, with some councillors taking to Twitter to express their view the debate had gone on too long.
City centre councillor Drew Gale tweeted: “Spent most the afternoon arguing about flag flying procedure at @prestoncouncil wonder how many Palestinian children died during the debate.”
University ward councillor Carl Crompton tweeted: “notice of motion on flag flying protocol has turned into a debate that’s lasted over an hour up to now.”
While the Lib Dems just seemed happy to be there:
Just spoke in council for the first time!
— Neil Darby (@liberal_neil) August 21, 2014
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