Richard Willis's Blog

First for local news and first for comment

“Cummon England!” – Flying Our Flag

Reading Borough Council’s new Conservative / Lib Dem coalition administration has adopted a ‘common sense’ approach to allowing fans to display flags backing their teams during the World Cup Finals.

New Council Leader Cllr Andrew Cumpsty and Deputy Cllr Kirsten Bayes want to ensure residents and staff alike are able to show their patriotism by backing their team.

Incidents elsewhere in the country have seen some local authorities take a heavy-handed approach in the run up to the World Cup.

There are reports of local councils banning taxi drivers from flying flags from their vehicles, threatening to revoke licences if they do. Last week also saw more than one report of councils threatening bin men with the sack should they attach flags to bin lorries. And in other areas, tenants have been asked to remove flags and bunting from council properties on health and safety grounds.

Council leaders in Reading however have moved to reassure drivers of council vehicles – like bin lorry vehicles, street sweepers or those who work in housing repairs teams – they will be allowed to take a sensible approach to publicly backing their boys. Staff will be able to attach flags or stickers to vehicles as long as they do not interfere with their everyday duties or create a safety hazard. The ‘common sense approach’ will also apply to flags hung on council properties and taxi drivers who want to back their teams.

Reading Borough Council Leader Andrew Cumpsty said: “People are sick and tired of political correctness and Government sticking its nose into people’s lives when not necessary. It is right for people to support their team at the World Cup, in what will be a global celebration of football.

“I will be proud to support England and wave the flag of St George and will be delighted to see all folk in Reading celebrating this great sporting festival too!”

Kirsten Bayes, Deputy Leader at Reading Borough Council, said: “We want everyone to enjoy the forthcoming World Cup finals. Nobody should be worried about flying the flag of the team they support. It’s a source of great pride that people from all round the world come to Reading to live and work together. I hope they will similarly enjoy the football together and cheer on each others’ teams.”

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June 5, 2010 - Posted by | Local

10 Comments »

  1. ‘common sense’…..’council’……The two have never really fitted together in the past. Lets hope this is the start of something good!

    Comment by Howard Thomas | June 5, 2010 | Reply

  2. That’s the bit I like best!:
    “Reading Borough Council Leader Andrew Cumpsty said: “People are sick and tired of political correctness and Government sticking its nose into people’s lives when not necessary” Cummon Andrew give it to them..

    Comment by Jazz | June 5, 2010 | Reply

  3. I love the common sense and optimism of this post! Keep up the great attitude! (http://cyberboris.wordpress.com)

    Comment by angelnstar | June 5, 2010 | Reply

  4. about as much common sense as is in the ‘common sense party’

    Comment by noori | June 6, 2010 | Reply

  5. What a load of bolleaux. Binmen were banned by Enterprise (private company contracted by councils) from flying flags. The councils concerned (including Wigan and Manchester)have reversed this ban. Taxi drivers in Canterbury were not banned, but there is an existing policy not to allow flags on taxis to help differentiate between cabs and private cars (ask Jeanette if this is too complicated). This ban has now been lifted for the World Cup. Canterbury is a Tory council.
    The origin of the stories was the the Daily Express and the Star. Not the Morning Star. Glad to see Cumpsty keeping up with cutting edge media.

    Comment by Jonny Morris | June 6, 2010 | Reply

  6. Being so clever ,Noon, would you like to have a go at giving us all the meaning of commonsense .

    Comment by Howard Thomas | June 6, 2010 | Reply

  7. Jonny, I don’t think Cllr Cumpsty was necessarily referring to other councils but merely stamping his trademark of common sense for Reading! Anyway since when do you come up with a balanced view re: media reporting considering your affiliations???..hardly an independent view dear boy!

    Comment by Minnie | June 6, 2010 | Reply

  8. Minnie, considering the nature of this blog, I doubt many people have balanced views when they comment here. In fact, I’m astonished there are so many people who don’t see the world the way I do.

    Comment by Jonny Morris | June 6, 2010 | Reply

    • Jonny – I suspect, rather like newspapers, readers of blogs gravitate to ones that reflect their own views. However, I am heartened that I do seem to get a reasonable number of commenters who clearly don’t share my Conservative/ liberal outlook on life. That all adds to the debate and makes it more interesting. The only time that I am uncomfortable with that is when someone goes beyond stating their own view and becomes abusive or unreasonable. Fortunately you have never descended to that level on here! 🙂

      Comment by Richard Willis | June 6, 2010 | Reply

  9. Thank you, Richard. That’s why I never comment on Britain’s Got Talent or the X Factor.

    Comment by Jonny Morris | June 7, 2010 | Reply


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