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Red tape Beetley wrangle stops school flying its flag

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:54 07 July 2010

Len Bloomfield, right, and Peter Daly, raise the Union flag at Beetley Primary School.

Len Bloomfield, right, and Peter Daly, raise the Union flag at Beetley Primary School.

Richard Parr

A red-tape wrangle is preventing a village primary school from raising its newly-created flag outside the front of its building.

Staff and governors at Beetley Primary School, near Dereham, were looking forward to raising their flag - designed by pupils - on its smart new white flagpole.

Richard Parr

A red-tape wrangle is preventing a village primary school from raising its newly-created flag outside the front of its building.

Staff and governors at Beetley Primary School, near Dereham, were looking forward to raising their flag - designed by pupils - on its smart new white flagpole.

But while there was no problem with the pole, the governors were disappointed to discover that they would have to apply for planning consent for the flag because it is advertising the school.

And while the discussions continue over its own flag, currently being made up from the pupils' own design, a flag-raising ceremony went ahead on Saturday when the union flag was hoisted during a ceremony attended by pupils, parent and staff.

The ceremony was performed by two D-Day local veterans and marked the 65th anniversary of Victory in Europe.

Parents and friends of the school gathered outside the school gates to watch the ceremony were making comments about the school's newly created flag and how red tape is preventing it from being flown from the flagpole.

The pupils have created a design for their own flag in collage form and it is being made into a cloth flag by expert flag makers.

But parent governor Louise Bunning, who has been the driving force behind the school flag project, revealed that while they do not need planning consent for the smart new white flag pole, they do have to have consent before they can raise the school flag.

Veteran Len Bloomfield, 88, has wanted the school to have it own flag for a long time, and pointed out that in many European towns and villages it is commonplace for schools to fly their own flags. The new school flag has been funded by Royal Marine Association in Norwich.

“I and other people associated with the school feel disappointed that we cannot fly our now flag when it is finished until we get the necessary planning consent. We have put such a lot of work into this project and we were keen to fly it to say that we are proud of St Mary's school,” said Mrs Bunning.

Mrs Bunning said that when the school flag is completed it would be hung in the hall until the planning consent is granted.

Despite the set-back with the school flag, Mrs Bunning said the school was pleased that a ceremony to raise the Union flag went ahead with D-Day veterans playing a key role.

Mr Bloomfield and 85-year-old Peter Daly were delighted to have raised the Union flag which they donated. Mr Bloomfield, of Beetley, joined the Royal Marines as a gunner in 1939 and was involved in all four major landings in the second world war. Mr Daly, of Scarning, who served in the Royal Marines from 1942 until 1946, was also involved in the Normandy Landings.

“I have felt for some time that the school should fly both its own and the Union flag and I think it helps to give the children pride in their school,” said Mr Bloomfield.

The flagpole was made by the firm of GT Bunning & Sons, agricultural engineers, of Gressenhall. Beavers and cub scouts from the 1st Beetley group took part in a parade during the ceremony. The flag was presented at the ceremony by cub scout, Ethan Bunning.


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