January 28, 2022 3.00 pm

Row over new Queen’s Jubilee flagpoles in England’s “finest stone town”

Plans for nine new flagpoles in Lincolnshire

Plans for Queen’s Jubilee flagpoles in England’s “finest stone town” – Stamford – have been causing some controversy as not everyone agrees with the idea.

The Georgian streets of Stamford and its 600 listed buildings have made the Lincolnshire town a magnet for period dramas, Hollywood film crews and generations of tourists.

Stamford doubled as Meryton in the 2005 film of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice starring Kiera Knightley. It was also a backdrop for blockbuster The Da Vinci Code and the 2011 film Middlemarch.

And with stunningly beautiful architecture it became the very first designated conservation area in England and Wales in 1967.

However Stamford, described by Sir Walter Scott, as “England’s finest stone town,” has become an unlikely battleground for a row over new flagpoles.

In December, leader of Lincolnshire County Council Martin Hill announced plans for nine new flagpoles across England’s second largest county.

The list included one at Stamford’s registration office in Ryhall Road.

Lincolnshire County Council estimates each flagpole will cost around £300, with a further £400 installation fee, making the cost of the project somewhere in the region of £6,300.

Councillor Hill hopes flagpoles will encourage people to have pride in where they live, especially with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year.

But the idea has not been well-received by some town, district or county councillors in Stamford, who believe the money could be better spent elsewhere.

What benefits a flagpole would have for Stamford, was one question that was asked.

At a Stamford Town Council meeting on January 25, district and county councillor Richard Cleaver said he did not think it was a good idea, while leader of South Kesteven District Council Kelham Cooke added he thought “money could be spent on other purposes”.

Councillor Steve Carroll proposed the council writes to Councillor Hill, outlining that residents believe it is ‘a ridiculous idea’ with there being far more pressing things to spend money on, such as potholes. This was approved unanimously.

Councillor Cooke, who represents Stamford East on Lincolnshire County Council, said: “I understand why the flagpole was brought forward as part of the jubilee and to promote civic pride but Stamford does have quite extensive flagpoles around the town.”

Plans for a series of new flag poles to be erected in nine locations around the county are hoping to encourage people to have pride in where they live.

Stamford District Council and Registration office in Ryhall Road is listed as one of the locations.

Lincolnshire County Council has already put in three planning applications to place new six metre high white glass fibre flagpoles in Lincoln.

An individual six metre high fibre glass flagpole from one of the UK’s leading sellers typically costs £335, including VAT.

Some Lincoln residents have also questioned if public money needs to be spent on extra flagpoles.

Mother-of-three Louise Wilkinson, 41, said: “I got the bunting out for VE Day, and we had a socially distanced party with our neighbours.

“I am sure we will do the same for the Queen’s Jubilee, but I don’t think the council needs to spend money on encouraging people.

“Those people that want to do it will no doubt get their own flags and bunting, and those that aren’t bothered will just treat it as an extra day off.”

Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said the aim was to “encourage everyone to have pride in where they live”.

“We have so much to celebrate as a county and as a nation,” he said.

“This will particularly be the case in 2022 with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and plans for enhanced Lincolnshire Day celebrations.

“Flag-raising is just one way we will mark these and other events, but it’s symbolic of our proud history and strong future.”

The list of locations for the new six metre high white glass fibre flagpoles includes:

  • Boston Carlton Road Centre
  • Boston Fire Station
  • Grantham Fire Station
  • Lincoln Myle Cross
  • Lincoln County Emergency Centre
  • Lincoln North Fire Station
  • Louth Keily House
  • Skegness Fire Station
  • Stamford DC and Registration office