Dear Abingdon Town Council,

Please could you provide me with documentation related to your flag policy, including the policy itself and any associated meta-data. For example: when the policy was created, dates at which it was changed, and dates when it was reviewed.

Yours faithfully,

James Davis

Nigel Warner, Abingdon Town Council

Dear Mr Davis

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 4^th July 2016, the receipt of which I
acknowledge.  I shall respond within the statutory timescale.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Nigel Warner

Town Clerk

Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council

Tel: 01235 522642

Direct line:  01235 468349

Fax: 01235 533112

 

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Nigel Warner, Abingdon Town Council

 Dear Mr Davis

 

I write further to your request regarding the Council’s flag policy.

 

The policy is detailed in the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes
Committee of 11^th March 2008, which approved the practice of the Council
at that point. The minutes state:

 

The current practice in Abingdon is as follows:

 

The County Hall only has one flag pole and therefore only one flag may be
flown at a time.

 

The Union Flag is flown all year round but two other flags are currently
flown.

 

a.       The St George’s Cross

This is generally hoisted on the Friday before St George’s Day (April 23),
to cover the Sunday of the Scouts’ parade, and is flown for one week
following St George’s Day.

 

b.       The Abingdon Town Flag

This is generally hoisted the day before the annual Mayor Making and
Annual Meeting of the Town Council in May each year, and is flown for a
week afterwards, and also hoisted the day before the Mayor’s birthday and
again flown for approximately a week afterwards. 

 

In relation to flying various flags at half-mast it was noted that there
are government rules in relation to the Union Flag these being as follows:

 

                                             i.            From the
announcement of the death up to the funeral of the sovereign, except on
proclamation day when they are hoisted at full mast from 11.00 a.m. to
sunset.

                                           ii.            The funerals of
members of the royal family, subject to special command from Her Majesty
in each case.

                                         iii.            The funerals of
foreign rulers, subject to special command from Her Majesty in each case.

                                          iv.            The funerals of
prime ministers and ex prime ministers of the United Kingdom

                                           v.            On other
occasions by special command of Her Majesty.

 

In relation to the Town Flag, the practice is that this is flown at half
mast on the following occasions:

                                             i.            From the
announcement of the death through to the day of the funeral of a serving
Town Councillor or Freeman of Abingdon.

                                           ii.            From the
announcement of the death through to the day of the funeral of a former
mayor of the town.

 

Members recommended that the above practices for flag flying be approved
by the Council as its policy on flag flying.

 

Subsequently the policy was adopted by the Town Council.

 

It should also be noted that there was a further recommendation in March
2008  “that the European Union flag should be flown from the working day
before 5 May, which is European Day, and to allow the flag to fly for one
week, and that any other suitable occasions should be identified by
Members.  If the Council does not have a European Union flag, then costs
should be explored before purchasing.”  Whilst this was approved by the
Council it was subsequently not enacted by the Council as government
guidance states:  “Where the European flag is flown on this day (Europe
Day), the Union Flag should fly alongside the European flag and, on UK
government buildings that only have one flagpole, the Union Flag should
take precedence.”

 

Since March 2008 the Council has approved the flying of two further flags,
both of which were as part of national government initiatives:

 

 1. Armed Forces Day flag. At its meeting in November 2008 the Council
resolved: “Following the announcement on the 30th October by the
Government that June 27th 2009 would be 'Armed Forces Day', this
Council proposes to celebrate and honour the achievements of the
personnel based at Dalton Barracks, which was granted the Freedom of
Abingdon in 2006, and wishes to work with the Barracks to help and
support them to find an appropriate way to mark this auspicious
occasion and set aside £1,000 in its civic budget towards such an
event.”  Subsequently at its meeting on 9^th June 2009 the minutes of
the Finance and General Purposes Committee record that “the Project
and Technical Manager presented a paper to the Committee detailing the
arrangements for the national Armed Forces celebrations on 22^nd June
(Flag raising) and 4^th July (Family Day at Dalton Barracks). The
Committee resolved to accept the paper and the contents therein.” The
paper itself states:  “The Government have announced that the first
ever national Armed Forces Day to honour the United Kingdom’s Service
personnel, past, present and future will be held on Saturday 27^th
June 2009 with a special Armed Forces Flag will be raised at a short
ceremony on the roof of the County Hall, Abingdon at 10.30am on Monday
22^nd June.”  Consequently the flag was subsequently added to the
annual schedule of flags to be flown, being flown for a week each
June, from the Monday before Armed Forces Day.

 

 2. Commonwealth Day Flag.  The minutes of the Council meeting of 29^th
January 2014 state that:   “Cllr Michael Badcock as Chairman of the
Vale of White Horse District Council invited the Mayor, on behalf of
Abingdon-on-Thames, to fly the Commonwealth Flag on Commonwealth Day
from the roof of County Hall Museum. The Mayor relayed her agreement
to this proposal.” At the Finance and General Purposes later that year
(9^th September 2014)  the Committee then recommended: “that the
Council register for the Commonwealth Flag and agree its continued
flying on appropriate occasions.” Consequently the flag was
subsequently added to the annual schedule of flags to be flown, being
flown for a week from the second Monday in March.

 

 

Finally, although not detailed in the policy, it has been the Council’s
long-standing practice to fly the appropriate royal standard in the event
of a royal visit.  This is standard practice across the country but
obviously is not a frequent occurrence.

 

I trust that this answers your Freedom of Information request.

 

Kind regards

 

Nigel 

 

Nigel Warner

Town Clerk

Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council

Tel: 01235 522642

Fax: 01235 533112

 

The information in this e-mail, together with any attachments, is
confidential. If you have received this message in error you must not
print off, copy, use or disclose the contents. The information may be
covered by legal and/or professional privilege. Please delete from your
system and inform the sender of the error. As an e-mail can be an informal
method of communication, the views expressed may be personal to the sender
and should not be taken as necessarily representing the views of the
Council. As emails are transmitted over a public network the Council
cannot accept any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this
message. It is your responsibility to carry out all necessary virus
checks. You should be aware that all emails received and sent by this
Council are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and therefore
may be disclosed to other parties under that Act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Nigel Warner,

Thank you for your timely and thorough response to my request.

Yours sincerely,

James Davis

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