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CHANGES to Carmarthenshire Council’s flag policy to mark events such as World Aids Day and Black History Month could come into force next month.

The administration was asked about the arrangements by Councillor Andre McPherson, who thanked executive board member for communities, Councillor Cefin Campbell, for attending last month’s Llanelli Pride event.

“In light of the this can I ask Cllr Campbell when we will see the flag policy changed so we know that events are marked – eg Breast Cancer Awareness Month – through the use of a flag being flown?” said Cllr McPherson at a meeting of full council.

The administration faced criticism last year when a council working group decided a rainbow flag should not be flown outside County Hall in Carmarthen during LGBT History Month, because it fell outside the flag-waving policy.

The leader of the council, Emlyn Dole, stressed at the time that the authority supported the LGBT community.

Speaking at full council on September 11, Cllr Campbell said he had a draft timetable of events to be marked by flags, which would be brought before the executive board for approval next month.

“I am quite confident it will be passed, and become part of our calendar of events going forward,” he said.

Cllr Campbell listed a number of the events, but said it was important to note there would be awareness-raising activities as well.

The executive board member also thanked Cllr McPherson for the invitation to speak at Llanelli Pride.

“I must say it was a wonderful day,” said Cllr Campbell. “What struck me was the wonderful feeling of love and respect there.

“It was a carnival atmosphere, and what the event provided was an environment for people to be themselves.

“Unfortunately we have not got a society which is that tolerant at the moment, that celebrates diversity.”

He said there were public figures who made disparaging comments towards minorities.

He added: “Even today we have incidents where people cannot be openly gay without facing vindictive and vile actions by people.”

Cllr McPherson thanked the executive board member for his efforts, and agreed it was about more than flags.

“It’s about us being prepared to stand up and support our communities in a visual and practical way,” he said.

“I look forward to it being implemented.”

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