Friday, December 16, 2005

Row escalating as European flag flies again

Northern Echo
Friday, December 16, 2005

A bitter political row reached boling point last night as a local authority defiantly flew the European Union flag outside its
headquarters despite stiff criticism from anti-Euro campaigners.

The EU Ring of Stars was flying in front of Wear Valley District Council offices in Crook, County Durham yesterday after councillors voted to reinstate it as soon as possible.

It is another twist in a row which started in September when the authority was forced to remove the flag by campaigners who revealed it did not have planning permission.

Since then, the council has applied for and, granted itself permission and, at a full council meeting on Wednesday, decided to reinstate the symbol, despite claims by The People's No Campaign that council officers assured them that it would only be flown on one day a year - Europe Day on May 9.

Neil Herron, from the No Campaign, said: "This is absolutely staggering arrogance by a local authority to continue to promote the EU project using ratepayers money.
"They haven't taken the advice of council officers. They have been told they cannot use taxpayers' money to promote this political project.
"To pass a motion to take down their own flag and replace it with that of the EU beggars belief."

Deputy leader of the council Councillor Charlie Kay said the flag was being flown to celebrate the election of fellow district councillor Chris Foote Wood on to the European Union's Committee of the Regions.

He will join former council leader Olive Brown, who is already on the committee.

Coun Kay said: "It is a fantastic honour for Wear Valley District Council, which is a small authority, to have two representatives on this committee.
"There was a lot of strong feeling at the meeting. Britain is a member of the European Union and it is our right to fly the flag".

He said that he did not know how long the flag would be flown alongside the Union flag and the Cross of St George but it would probably be there for the foreseeable future.


Anonymous said...

Sadly predictable really. Wonder if it's worth finding out who, if any, of the councillors voted against? Or was it just a Cabinet decision? Or - even worse - was it one of those decisions taken by an Officer in consultation with the Council Leader. Or is the wool being completely pulled over our eyes and is it just another Officer decision? To get two local representatives on the EU C.O.R. implies quite a "brown-nosing" approach to the EU - the UK is only entitled to 24 representatives in total. But these people have not been "elected" as the Duputy Council Leader asserts - they are merely selected! Nothing to "celebrate" there!

Chris Cooke

revinkevin said...

Publish this at the next local election, and see how many loose their seats.

Anonymous said...

SCUM SCUM SCUM Politicians

Totally untrustworthy - promise what you want to hear then go back on their word.

No wonder people of this country now regard them as beneath contempt.

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