Union Flag should be flown 'every day, on every council building' across Lancaster, say councillors

A motion that would see the Union Flag flown permanently on every Lancaster City Council building in the district will be debated by councillors.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 4:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 4:22 pm

Coun John Reynolds, who represents Carnforth and Millhead Ward, has put forward a motion to full council asking that the flag should be flown every day, on every council building.

If a majority of councillors vote in favour of the motion in full at a meeting on May 17, it would also stop future Mayors from deciding not to fly the flag every day on council buildings.

Two new Union Flags have already been ordered by the council when the decision was taken by Mayor Coun Malcolm Thomas to fly them every day during his year long tenure.

Morecambe Town Hall.

Coun Reynolds motion, which has been seconded by Coun Merv Evans, Coun Darren Clifford, and Coun Roger Cleet, has been put forward following a recommendation from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG).

The motion says: "Our nation's flag is a symbol of liberty, unity and freedom that creates a shared sense of civic pride, and unites us as one people on these islands.

"People expect to see the Union flag flying high on civic buildings as a sign of our local and national pride, and our shared identity.

The Union flag should be flown every day, on every Lancaster City Council building.

Lancaster Town Hall.

"We note that the mayor has approved the flying of the Union flag on council buildings on a permanent basis, in line with the suggestion from MHCLG."

The motion calls on Lancaster City Council to:

(1) Enshrine the recommendations from MHCLG as council policy, so that future mayors cannot remove the recommendation to fly the Union Flag on council buildings on all days (except where a flag is flown to celebrate a specific day or event)

(2) Ensure that Flags are replaced on a regular basis to ensure the highest standards

Morecambe Town Hall from above.

(3) Complete a condition survey of flags and flag poles for the consideration of the portfolio holder for property services, and then complete one every year from now on.

(4) Seek funding pots for the replacement of flag poles and for helping to fund new flag poles and flags

(5) Seek the feedback of the community and elected members about areas of public open space where they would like to see a flag pole

(6) Write to partners, local businesses and parish and town councils asking them to adopt the elements of this motion appropriate to them.

Lancaster Town Hall.

An officer briefing note in the full council agenda states: "The motion requests that the Union flag should be flown every day on every Lancaster City Council building.

"The City Council owns a great many buildings in the district and many are tenanted.

"The proposer of the motion may need to be more specific about which buildings they feel are appropriate.

"Earlier in the motion there is a mention of ‘Civic Buildings’ and these would be the most appropriate, since it is usual for flags to be flown on municipal buildings. There are currently three flag poles at Lancaster Town Hall and one at Morecambe Town Hall."

It also says: "As noted in the motion, the Mayor has approved the flying of the Union flag at Morecambe and Lancaster Town Halls, in line with recent MHCLG guidance.

"The Mayor traditionally takes decisions on the flying of flags, as part of their civic role.

"The Council Business Committee’s terms of reference include ‘to agree civic and ceremonial matters in consultation with the Mayor”, so there can be wider member involvement on policy issues.

"Council could, if it wishes, make a policy on this particular issue which Democratic and Property services would then follow.

"At present, there is only one flagpole at Morecambe Town Hall, so on the sad occasion of a death of a Councillor or Alderman, it will now be necessary to take down the Union Flag and replace with the City Flag at half-mast until sundown on the day of the funeral, as is customary.

"Also, there are occasions when other flags are flown during the year (Rainbow flag for Pride; Commonwealth flag for Commonwealth day, Armed Forces flag for Armed Forces week, etc) when these flags will replace the Union Flag at Morecambe Town Hall, as pointed out in the motion.

"There are three flag poles at Lancaster Town Hall and so it will be possible to keep the Union flag flying on the highest, middle flag pole, alongside any other flags, in a lower position."

Further information can be found HERE.