Thursday, 12 June 2008

New article in Dorset Echo

IDEAS for a new flag for Dorset have been snubbed by councils in the east of the county.

Bournemouth Borough Council has cited their historic links with Hampshire while Poole and Christchurch have also decided not to be involved at this stage.

Dorchester's Dave White, who launched the project with his own design, still hopes the flag will go ahead.

He said: "I'm very disappointed with Bournemouth Borough Council's response considering the town has now been part of Dorset for many years.

"Hankering after a past life with Hampshire certainly is not a particularly good excuse. If the people of Bournemouth choose to adopt the flag, then who are the council to stop them?"

Mr White contacted all three councils after Dorset County Council chairman John Peake stressed that discussions would have to involve Bournemouth and Poole.

Chief executive of Bournemouth Borough Council Pam Donnellan confirmed their decision. She said: "We already have strong historic links with both Hampshire to the east and Dorset to the west and we wish Dorset every success in this new initiative."

The Echo invited readers to send in their designs and they were forwarded on to the county council after Coun Peake said they were happy to move the project forward.

A Borough of Poole spokesman also referred to historical issues. He said: "The borough has a rich history dating back hundreds of years and was subject to a Royal Charter in 1568 which saw it named the county of the town of Poole and, therefore, separate from the county of Dorset.

"The council has no objections to the campaign for a Dorset flag however we feel that this issue is best pursued by our colleagues at Dorset County Council."

Sally Northeast, public relations manager at Dorset County Council, confirmed chief executive David Jenkins had spoken to both Bournemouth and Poole's councils and that they were not interested at the moment.

She said: "The issue for them is to do with the fact that they have quite a strong town identity from a tourism point of view. If the flag goes into production who knows what will happen."

John Gale, 71, will be flying Mr White's design at this year's West Dorset Vintage Stationary Engine and Tractors Club rally and thinks everyone in Dorset should support it.

He said: "Everybody should get together as it doesn't matter where you are in the county."

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