Health and safety stops St George's flag flying at Bourne Town Hall

CIVIC leaders are in uproar after the St George's flag was not flown at Bourne Town Hall to mark the patron saint's day because of health and safety fears.

Mayor Shirley Cliffe and town councillor Brian Fines are furious the flag was not raised on Thursday last week.

Officials at South Kesteven District Council, which maintains the building, ruled it was potentially unsafe to put it up.

Coun Cliffe said: "A lot of the public were upset. It is the first year it has not gone up and it's disgusting that we cannot celebrate by flying it.

"This health and safety is getting ridiculous."

Coun Fines said: "This despotic government's laws on health and safety has prevented the council from flying a flag from the Town Hall – the hub of our town. It would need a ladder to access the mast which they say is not allowed to be used.

"What a sick, sad society we are becoming."

A district council spokesman said on first sight this might seem to be a case of "health and safety gone mad" but he added: "Putting up the flag at Bourne Town Hall is not as simple as pulling a rope and raising it into place.

"The current process involves our site manager climbing an 8ft foot ladder which rests on a plinth, which overlooks a spiked gate.

"We think this is too risky for our staff to do but we did put up flags around the building to celebrate St George's Day."

Coun Cliffe said: "I don't understand it.

"So we won't be able to fly a flag, which I would think is essential, for the Armed Forces Day in June or the Queen's birthday in July?

"Then we should have a proper flag pole put outside the town hall. The district council should get us a proper flag pole."

Coun Fines said: "People have flown flags up there for donkeys years."

At the time of going to press the district council could not confirm whether a flag would ever be flown again at the town hall.

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