Your reader Mr Long suggested in last week’s Express (Letters, April 19) that the council is not patriotic.
I hope you will allow me to put the record straight. In the first instance we fly the Union flag from the Town Hall every day. Furthermore we do all we can to support the servicemen and women who fight for their country – some paying the ultimate sacrifice.
We have an armed forces champion, who works with serving and ex-service personnel and their families in the district to make sure they get help with health issues, housing, finance and jobs and re-settle back into civilian life.
The council has also been recognised for its continued commitment and dedication to the region’s reserve forces. Indeed a special certificate was presented to the council by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional SABRE campaign director and signed by the Chief of Defence Staff and Secretary of State for Defence in recognition of that support.
As part of our millennium celebrations we paid for every war memorial in the district to be refurbished in conjunction with the Royal British Legion and we have recently granted our biggest honour – Freedom of the City – to two local regiments, the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and Yorkshire Regiment.
Your readers will also recall that we hosted a lunch for the Queen in the Town Hall in 2005 and helped ensure a day to remember for the city and its residents.
In the past we did not fly the flag at half-mast when Edward Heath and James Callaghan both died in 2005. When Margaret Thatcher died we followed that precedent. It is clear that one or two people did not agree with the decision but the recent article in the Express showed that the majority of readers did not want the flag flown.
To suggest our decision makes us “unpatriotic” is not only nonsense but is nonsense that is clearly not supported by the record I have outlined.
Coun Peter Box CBE