Oh dear on hearing about this story I really do wonder, yet again, why we bother to allow local councils to exist.
Have they nothing better to do with their time, and our council tax?
David Waterman, of Ashtead, has found out to his cost that Nanny's local council (Mole Valley) has got a veritable bee in its bonnet over the fact that he flew a Jolly Roger pirate flag in his garden for his daughter's 8th birthday party.
The flag, all 5ft by 3ft of it, was flown to enhance the pirate theme of his daughter's birthday.
Needless to say, Nanny's chums in Mole Valley want him to de-erect his pole and flag (can I say that?).
Oddly enough this is not the first time that Nanny has banned pirate flags, I cite the case last June whereby Stafford Borough Council did the same thing.
Anyhoo, this all blew up some months ago, Mr Waterman has received a letter from the council telling him to take it down; in response he has applied for advertising consent for the flag to be flown.
It seems that there is something of a dispute going on with some of his neighbours who don't like his kids playing outside, as such they complained to the council about the flag.
Another neighbour erected a pirate flag in support, but took it down after receiving a warning letter from the council.
He replaced it with a Union flag, as the law states anyone can fly a national flag or flags promoting a business at their home.
Mr Waterman is now considering registering a company called Jolly Roger at his house, so that he can keep the skull and crossbones.
A spokesman for Mole Valley council said it had not yet launched legal proceedings against Mr Waterman and would consider his application.
"We received a complaint about the flag flying outside Mr Waterman's house and are duty-bound to investigate complaints and enforce government regulations."
Herein lies the problem..."duty bound to enforce..."
Councils are not meant to act as state enforcers, they were once meant to "manage" and enhance their local catchment areas for the benefit of the local community as a whole.
It seems that their view of their "mission" has changed somewhat over the years.
As councils now see themselves as "enforcers", it inevitably places them on a direct collision course with their local residents and voters; this will only end in tears for the councils.
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