Council ‘followed protocol’

Amble Town Council has responded to the criticism it has received in the wake of the controversial flag incident.

A full statement was posted onto its website (www.amble.gov.uk), on Friday.

It read: “An incident occurred in Amble Memorial Gardens, on May 23, when a group of residents lowered the flag without consultation or authorisation for what they deemed as a mark of respect for the recent murder of a serving soldier in Woolwich.

“Amble Town Council would like to make it clear that it abhors this murder and would offer sincere sympathies and condolences to the family of Lee Rigby

“The town council follows the accepted protocol when it comes to the lowering of the National Flag and, similarly to the county council, does not lower the flag even in a tragic incident such as this.

“Many of our service people have been killed over the past years and the flag has not been lowered.

“The council believes it would be disrespectful to single out this one incident, horrific though it may be.”

The statement added: “However, due to the exceptional circumstances and the representations made from our townspeople, we will fly the National Flag at half mast on the day of Lee Rigby’s funeral as a mark of our respect.”