A Chesham resident criticised the Town Council for “lack of democracy” after confusion about the Pride flag in town centre.

After an uproar following the Town Council’s initial refusal to fly the Pride flag citing need to “remain neutral in these matters”, the Town Council announced a review of the flag flying policy, and eventually agreed to fly the Pride flag, a symbol for equal rights and justice for the LGBTQ+ community.

Many saw this as a U-turn by the Town Council.

A Chesham resident and active LGBTQ+ ally Jenny Cooper, has followed the Pride flag situation closely.

She said: “As a local resident I feel there’s lack of democracy going on, I’ve felt like that for some time, and this instance has confirmed it,” she said.

While she didn’t want to point a finger at any individual councillor, she felt the town leaders had become “very complacent about the fact that they control everything in the town”.

The Chesham resident of five years said she saw new people come in and try and shake things up, which the town leaders didn’t like, she said.

“Their reaction is to close things up even more.”

READ MORE: Chesham plants hit by vandals

The Town Council commented: “The Council has never made a 'U-Turn' as erroneously headlined by the Bucks Free Press last week and it has kept consistently to what has been agreed to by several different previous councils over a number of years.

“However, it has occasionally displayed flags and/or banners of support from the Town Hall balcony.

“Currently it displays both the Ukranian and the Pride flag and therefore it is perplexing when members of the public have stated both have been removed, when they remain clearly visible from St Marys Way.”  

Jenny couldn’t first see the flag at Town Hall, until she realised it was what is considered the back of the building “because that’s not the side residents walk past and that’s not where the entrance is.”  

READ MOORE: Hospice of St Francis Amersham Owned donor call

“It feels a little bit like it’s been put behind the back by the bins.”

She questioned why the Pride flag wasn’t put up as eagerly as the Ukrainian flag.

“But at least it’s there, and as a consequence other organisations have put Pride flags out - there’s one hanging outside Citizen Advice Bureau, and that was in direct response to what happened, one on The Broadway and people have them outside their houses.”

There will now be a Chilterns LGBTQ+ meeting on Friday at 7pm in town centre, and drinks in bars that “have been really supportive,” she said.

When someone had flown the Pride flag off the flagpole by the War Memorial, it had been taken down, and put up again. As a result, residents questioned on OurChesham Facebook group what the flag flying rules were.

The Town Council’s flag flying policy from its official flagpole, which is restricted to the Union and Town flags “as largely directed by the Government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport”, Town Council said.

They added: “Sadly, some members of the public have decided to hoist the 'Rainbow' flag without permission, so the Council has taken it down as it would with any unauthorised flag.

“This in no way reflects the Council's position on LGBTQ+ rights but simply an adherence to its policy.”