“Cummon England!” – Flying Our Flag
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.”