The Leader of the Council, Cllr Mike Badcock, has issued the following statement:
“The Council debated a motion at its Council meeting on Wednesday that ‘Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council source a rainbow flag to fly from County Hall in conjunction with Oxford Pride.’
“After full and careful debate the motion was not adopted. I would like to explain why the motion was not adopted.
“The Council has a long standing policy on which flags it flies from the County Hall. These flags are the Union Flag, the Flag of St George (England), the Town Flag and, annually, the Commonwealth and the Armed Forces Day flags. In the event of a Royal visit, the appropriate royal standard is also flown. Whilst appreciating the arguments to fly the Rainbow Flag, the Council was concerned that if the Rainbow Flag were to be flown this would be a clear precedent which would mean that the Council would come under pressure for other flags to be flown. The current policy is very clear.
“It was also noted that the request was to fly the flag in conjunction with Oxford Pride. Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council is the local council for Abingdon and whilst noting that Oxford Pride is attended by people from Abingdon, it is not an Abingdon event.
“The decision which we made was made on the grounds set out above and is not a judgment on the merits of the rainbow flag and what it represents. Indeed I was pleased to state that should there be an Abingdon Pride event this would be welcomed and we would be pleased to consider allowing a rainbow flag to be flown from a flagpole on the Market Place.”