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Welsh council U-turns over decision not to fly LGBT flag

A Welsh council has made a U-turn over its decision not to fly the LGBT flag outside its headquarters.

Carmarthenshire council received criticism earlier this week after it confirmed that it would not be raising a rainbow flag to celebrate LGBT History Month.

The council originally said that flying the flag would 'fall outside its current policy'.

The council said that flying the flag would 'fall outside its current policy'.

But after public pressure and a written letter from Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, the flag was raised outside County Hall in Carmarthen on Friday morning and will stay there for the duration of the weekend.

The flag has now been raised in an attempt to 'clear any misunderstanding'.

Members of the council’s Constitutional Review Working Group voted unanimously against flying the flag but it has now been raised in an attempt to 'clear any misunderstanding'.

Council leader Emlyn Dole said the flag policy would be changed at a later date.

The leader of Carmarthenshire Council, Emlyn Dole, suggested that the authority’s flag policy, which has been subject to condemnation in recent days, would be changed 'at a later date'.

Whilst the cross-party committee of councillors decided against amending the authority’s flag protocol, enforcing a presumptive rejection to all flag requests, I am concerned that the decision has been deliberately misinterpreted for political purposes, suggesting that Carmarthenshire Council does not support and celebrate LGBT staff members and residents.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In order to clear any misunderstanding, and to demonstrate our commitment to equality and the celebration of diversity, I have instructed council officers to fly the rainbow flag over County Hall this weekend.

We can return to the formal process for amending the council’s flag policy at a later date, but as leader of the council I have taken the decision to fly the rainbow flag this weekend as an expression of Carmarthenshire council’s support and solidarity with our staff and residents in the LGBT+ community.

– Elmyn Dole, Leader, Carmarthenshire Council

Labour councillor Rob James welcomed the sight of the rainbow flag flying above County Hall and revealed he has tabled a motion to be discussed at a full meeting of Carmarthenshire council next month to ensure that the rainbow flag is flown in years to come.

LGBT History Month, which takes place every February, aims to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public by increasing the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.