The council bowed to public pressure
The LGBT flag was flown over Havering Town Hall yesterday in a ceremony including a speech by Havering’s Mayor, Councillor Linda Van den Hende.
The council had come under fire for not flying the flag during the recent LGBT history month, Dewi Evans Chairperson for the Havering LGBT Forum present at the event, told The Enquirer: “There was a protest planned about the flag not being flown but it’s great that they are now flying it. The area we are in is diverse but many people here are too afraid to identify with LGBT as they are afraid of repercussions.
“As an organisation, we are growing and flying the flag is definitely a step in the right direction.”
Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Damien White said: “We have a flag flying policy here in Havering that states what flags we can fly. We did discuss the decision to fly the flag and came up with a compromise, we were never against it. Havering is very pleased and honoured to recognise all different sectors of the society and we are very pleased to be able to fly the flag.” The flag was raised just after midday.
Mr Evans continued: “In an ideal world we wouldn’t have to recognise LGBT month, it would just be part of our society and a gay couple could walk down any road holding hands, without anyone batting an eyelid.”
A protest had been planned by Romford Labour outside the town hall. Angelina Leatherbarrow said: “ It is wonderful that they are now flying the flag; it’s a victory.”