Public Consultation on Proposed Revisions to the Council's Policy on the Flying of the Union Flag

Closed 1 Sep 2022

Opened 9 Jun 2022

Overview

Background

Further to the creation of Ards and North Down Borough Council on April 1st 2015, the new Council continued to operate the existing Flags Policies of the two legacy councils (Ards BC and North Down BC), until July 2021, when an updated policy was introduced. The updated policy is shown below (with change to the previous policy shown in bold).

 

Amended Ards and North Down Borough Council Flags Policy (July, 2021)

I.          The Union Flag be flown permanently at seven designated sites i.e. Castle Park, Bangor; Conway Square, Newtownards (beside Blair Mayne Memorial); Ballygowan (adjacent to the War Memorial); The Square, Comber (adjacent to the War Memorial); The Maypole, Holywood; The Moat, Donaghadee; and Queen’s Hall, Holywood.

II.         The Union Flag be flown only on designated days (currently 15) at Church Street, Newtownards.

III.        The Union Flag be flown at war memorials for the period of remembrance (around 11 November) or for the Remembrance Service in line with existing local custom and practice but for a period which must not exceed two weeks. In addition to the period of Remembrance, flags at war memorials will be flown at half-mast following the death of the reigning Monarch.

IV.       Flags commemorating specific days or events (to include Commonwealth Flag, Armed Forces Day Flag or Red Ensign) be flown at Castle Park, Bangor and Conway Square, Newtownards.   Additional flags may also be considered that have a national significance at one or both sites.  (Council approval will be required for these on a case-by-case basis).

V.        Each flag be maintained and serviced at regular intervals by Council staff and will only be flown at half-mast following the death of a member of the Royal Family, a serving or former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, a serving or former First or Deputy First Minister, or at a time of designated national disaster. 

Update

At Council on 30th March 2022 it was RESOLVED that, subject to the completion of an equality impact assessment, Council amends the current flag policy to fly the Union Flag at every war memorial all year round, and will also include Church Street Newtownards Council building.

It is against this backdrop that the current EQIA is being undertaken, with the intent of consulting widely on the proposed revisions to the policy.  

It is intended that the consultation will furnish an opportunity to consider options regarding proposed revisions to the policy, including the option of not changing the policy.

War memorials that fly the Union Flag in line with the current policy, and that would be affected by the proposal amendments, include:

  • Ballygowan War Memorial
  • Ballyhalbert War Memorial
  • Ballywalter War Memorial
  • Castle Street War Memorial Newtownards
  • Comber War Memorial
  • Cloughey War Memorial
  • Donaghadee War Memorial
  • Greyabbey War Memorial
  • Groomsport War Memorial
  • Holywood War Memorial
  • Millisle War Memorial
  • Portavogie War Memorial
  • Ward Park War Memorial Bangor

The full EQIA consultation document is available on our website at :

www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/eqia

 

 

Why your views matter

The Council is committed to ensuring it meets its equality and good relations duties and responsibilities, as identified in Section 75 of The Northern Ireland Act 1998.

As part of this commitment, an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) has been undertaken on the Proposed Revisions to the Council's Policy on the Flying of the Union Flag.

As part of the EQIA process the Council is consulting with the public and its employees.  The Council would welcome all views on the proposals.

Your replies will be treated in strictest confidence and will be completely anonymous at all times. The results of this consultation will be made available on Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Website.

What happens next

Following the 12 week consultation  running from Thursday 9th June 2022 to Thursday 1st September 2022 @ 4pm and once finalised the EQIA Final Decision Report will be made available on Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Website.

 

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Creative Peninsula
  • Employee engagement
  • Customer experience
  • Community Consultation
  • Art Exhibitions
  • Sport/Activities
  • Customer Consultation
  • Resident Consultation