Letter from Adam Buckland: The great flag debate

Thame's deputy mayor Adam Buckland
Thame's deputy mayor Adam Buckland
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The former mayor and current Thame Town councillor has his say on the ongoing flag issue

I would like, if I may, respond to your recent articles and letters concerning the proposal to fly the St George’s Flag on the Town Hall.

As one of the councillors (and last year’s mayor) accused of being unpatriotic and being ‘small minded’ I would like to point out the following, over the last few years the town councillors have had a direct role in: The new Meadowview football complex, installing a new play area at Southern Road Recreation Ground and soon, Queen Elizabeth circle, initiating and taking forward a new town plan for the next 20+ years, supporting and working alongside Chinnor Rugby Club, giving out grants to local organisations, supplying 30 extra allotments, improving the Christmas lights switch on event, the first Music in the Park event, The first Tidy Thame Day, annual Civic Pride Awards and recently agreeing to investigate future funding of Youth Work in Thame.

We/I have also given active support to:

Thame Food Festival, the new Arts and literary Festival, The new Thame Library, the new Street Pastors, new Saturday Farmers Markets and French and Italian Markets.

If this is what we can all achieve with a SMALL MIND imagine what we can do with a LARGE one.

Also on a more personal level, my business, which has been in Thame for 17 years (which when we arrived proclaimed: ‘Happiness is a State of MIND’ If you’re not happy change your MIND!) has over recent years initiated the project ‘Brothers Community Spirit’ where my staff (at my expense) tidy up areas of Thame that are a bit down at heal and raise money for local good causes such as the Thame Youth Memorial (which is another first for our town, initiated by councillor Dyer and Bretherton). Also, once a year all my employees give their time on a Saturday to help and take part in the carnival that, if you watch TV, was said to be the best in recent memory!

I feel all these achievements have given the residents a huge sense of pride in their town, much, much, much more than raising a flag on a Town Hall.

I personally have a lot more positive aspirations on my list for Thame than what coloured material is draped from our Town Hall, as long as there is still the community sprit in Thame which residents and visitors talk about so widely

So please don’t lecture me about putting pride back into our Town.

I’m getting a bit bored of a few people constantly snipping from the sidelines and slagging off the council especially when they don’t seem to be in position of all the facts.

In your first article a lot of councillors where named but funnily enough not the name of Nick Carter (our conservative county councillor) who went huffing and puffing to your paper after the vote on the flags didn’t go his way (he wasn’t even part of the vote).

You won’t find me slagging off the county council about their withdrawal of our youth service and appalling potholes in our roads in a local paper (Oops)!

I would politely suggest that Nick and other councillors (who seem to have a slight obsession with the St George’s flag) and their supporters have a look at their own government’s website that states:

“On St George’s Day, the Cross of St George’s may be flown from UK Government buildings in England with two or more flagpoles”

Not my rules. Theirs! Debate over?

I would suggest that those residents, councillors and county councillors who would like to fly the St George’s flag lobby their MP and government rather than slagging off councillors who are only upholding this government’s rules (which for us labour councillors does seem more than ironic).

Lastly I would like to assure some of your readers that I will be standing down at the end of this term of the council as after what would have been 12 years of trying to do my best for this great town of ours and to the detriment of my family and business life, I think, I know, it’s time for more OPEN MINDED people like E.R King to step up to the plate and show us what they can do!

I wish You good luck.

Councillor Adam Buckland