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Council says sorry to gay flag pub
5:05pm Tuesday 21st August 2012 in Countywide news
A COUNCIL which forced a gay-friendly pub to take down three rainbow pride flags has issued an apology.
Tendring Council enforcement chiefs ordered the Lion, in Ardleigh, to take the flags down because they breached advertising laws as only a national or county flag can be flown without consent.
Now council leader Neil Stock has said sorry for how the council handled the affair and has offered to meet landlord Stephen Culham for clear-the-air talks.
Mr Stock said: “My understanding is government legislation exists to control unauthorised advertising, although in this case I am not convinced that the rainbow flag would necessarily constitute a breach of those regulations.
“However, the pub is in the heart of a conservation area and if there were three flags flying, of any description, then I can quite understand why the parish council would have needed the issue looked into.”
He added: “I feel we let ourselves down by sending out a strongly worded letter without contacting Mr Culham face to face to talk things through and explain to him what options were available to him.
“That has made us appear rather insensitive and ignorant - and it is not the way I want the council to be exercising its enforcement powers.”