Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Fancy a dry sherry?

Three cheers for Sherry Eastpond's delightful request:


I raise a glass to you and your wonderful name

Keep the flag flying!!


Sherry Eastpond

20 December 2010

Dear Mr Pickles

I was in my local library the other day looking for a book about
flags... but it didn't have one!

When I enquired when they might be able to get one in, I was told
by the very polite librarian that there were such big cut backs
that they wouldn't be getting many new books at all any time soon.
In fact, she said it was looking quite likely that the library will
close in he near future. I was devastated. I love that library.
It's such a huge shame because I love a good book and learning new
things enriches you, don't you think?

So... I thought I would look into it a bit more, which led me to
you. Imagine my surprise when I saw that you have an interest in
flags too! But wait a minute, I keep hearing that money's tight...
I read (I like to read) that you said it's down to the people who
used to run the country. But then I saw you're flying flags above
your lovely big building in Victoria! But that can't be right,
didn't you say it was the other people that spent all the money on
things other than front line services (like lovely libraries) that
meant I can't get my book on flags!

I found myself wondering how very much it must cost to fly all
those different flags - a different one every week (as long as it's
a county!?). Why only counties? Are city flags bad? It can't be a
just history thing. Cities aren't new after all!

So... I wonder My Pickles.

1. How much does it cost to fly a different flag over Eland House
every week? Please include - your staff making arrangements to get
the flags. The cost to cash strapped councils (by each one) to send
you the flag (whether they've had to have them made, staff costs,
post/shipping costs), costs to hoist said flags. Costs to promote
each lag in press releases and on your website (staff and any other
costs). I'm sure you have to return them too... how much does that
cost as well please? The book I was after only costs £5.49. I'll be
really interested to know how many books we could have bought for
with what you've spent.

2. The county flag issue is an interesting one. Could you provide
all documentation (emails, letters, meeting times and any minutes
of said meetings) relating to why you decided to fly flags, all
correspondence with said counties, why only counties, why not other
areas and why in the order they are being flown. How many counties
are there compared to other types of council area (single tier -
e.g. metropolital, london borough, unitaries)? Did you have to buy
any new flags - if so how much did these cost you (well, me

3. How high is the flag pole on Eland house (from the ground). It
seems very high. I couldn't really make out the flag that was
flying anyway when I walked by the other day.

4. I would also like the forward plan for each future flag to be

5. It made me wonder if counties are somehow special to you. So I
did more research in my local library. It turns out (can you
believe it!) that many counties (well, their councils) are
conservative run!!! Because I only have access to my local
libraries computers, and there's a big queue to use these days
(because there's less of them, and some are broken), I can't find
all the information I need easily. Can you therefore provide me
with a complete list of the political control of each council area
you've flown a flag for to date and all the future ones too.

6. But wait, if there does turn out to be some kind of political
relationship between flags and conservative council area, I'm sure
these flags can't be arranged by civic servants. They're
non-political aren't they? Isn't that what the civil service code
says? Are they allowed to do something so overtly political?
Doesn't it undermine the credibility of these hard working public

I look forward to your reply.

Yours faithfully,

Sherry Eastpond

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