Council is flagging over new ‘policy’

The estimated cost of erecting three new flagpoles outside Scottish Border Council’s headquarters at Newtown St Boswells is £4,000.

Money well spent? There are probably dozens of better things the council could spend £4,000 on, especially at a time when local authorities are facing significant financial challenges.

In the grand scheme of things, £4,000 probably won’t break the bank. The decision to erect three new flagpoles at ground level outside the building’s main entrance was more about symbolism than cost.

The council’s decision means the Rainbow Flag – which symbolises lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride – has been added to a list of ‘approved’ flags, along with others. All of this ought to be welcomed.

The council wants to be 
portrayed as an authority which “promotes positive messages, including pride, inclusiveness, respect and 
celebration”.

A noble a aspiration, of course. But councillors should not need to come up with a flag ‘policy’ of ‘protocol’ to meet this aim. They should not need a working group to discuss it either.

There are far more pressing matters for the council to be spending time and money on in the Borders.