Is a council spending £20,000 to fly the
Union flag all-year-round?
North Lanarkshire Council is erecting a fourth flagpole at its HQ to allow permanent flying of the Union flag, but is it really costing £20,000?
“Labour-Tory decision to spend £20,000 to fly union flag from NLC [North Lanarkshire Council] all year round is unjustifiable while services and communities suffer under austerity. This is your council spending your money. What service or community group do you think should have benefited from that money?”
Marion Fellows MP (SNP)
Motherwell and Wishaw, Twitter, Friday October 5th, 2018.
Ms Fellows claimed the extra flagpole would cost an astronomical five-figure sum, a claim that has now been repeated many times on social media.
When councils across Scotland are tightening their belts, is one local authority really spending this much money just to fly a flag?
An additional flagpole outside the Civic Centre has been costed by council officers at just £185 plus VAT. That’s 90 times cheaper than the price-tag claimed by Marion Fellows.
The extra flagpole will allow the council to show its gratitude and respect on special occasions such as Pride, Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Sunday, while simultaneously flying the Union flag, Saltire and the flag of North Lanarkshire Council.
Straight from the horse's mouth...
North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim Logue said:
“An additional flagpole outside the Civic Centre has been costed by council officers at £185 plus VAT and will allow us to show our gratitude and respect on special occasions such as Pride, Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Sunday whilst simultaneously flying the Union flag, Saltire and the flag of North Lanarkshire Council.
“This will allow us to represent the full diversity of the people of North Lanarkshire at all times. It is shameful that SNP councillors and parliamentarians are wilfully misleading the public on the cost of this. Their time would be better spent asking their Government for a fair funding deal for North Lanarkshire for next year’s budget.”
Scotland in Union Fact Check Conclusion:
A lie on social media can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes. Marion Fellows received nearly 300 retweets for her claim, and has – to date – not apologised.
North Lanarkshire Council has made it clear that the flagpole will cost just £185 plus VAT, nowhere near the £20,000 figure quoted by Marion Fellows MP.
Is a Scottish council spending £20,000 to fly the Union flag
No, the cost is just £185 plus VAT.