Flute band hit out at council after request to decorate street for Orange march refused

·3-min read
Photo taken in Glasgow city centre on Saturday by Gordon Terris
Photo taken in Glasgow city centre on Saturday by Gordon Terris

A FLUTE band has hit out at South Lanarkshire Council after their request to put up decorations for an Orange procession was refused. 

Rutherglen Bluebell F.B. hoped to decorate the town's Main Street and surrounding area on Saturday for the annual Boyne celebration, and for an upcoming anniversary parade in memory of past member Graeme Robertson, who sadly passed away.

In previous years, the band say members and friends "respectfully" decorated the streets, including buildings and lampposts, but had been "criticised heavily".

They say claims were also made about flags "creating tension" in the area.

READ MORE: Thousands take to Glasgow streets to march in Boyne Parade

Ahead of Saturday, the band, in a statement, said they decided to do what they felt was the right thing and seek permission from the local authority.

But they were informed their request had been refused, and took to social media to share their disappointment.

The band's full statement, posted on Friday, read: "It is with great regret and sadness that we advise you, our loyal followers and supporters of the band, that Rutherglen Main Street and surrounding area will not be decorated for the upcoming anniversary parade in memory of the late Graeme Robertson or for the Glasgow Boyne Celebrations this weekend.

"In the past, both members and friends of the band have taken it upon themselves to respectfully decorate the streets, buildings and lampposts in tasteful and colourful regalia amidst the exciting run-up to these big occasions.

"On a previous occasion, we were criticised heavily by our detractors within the local media, for “sectarian vandalism” of landmarks in and around the surrounding area.

"Claims were also made by South Lanarkshire Council that the erection of flags was 'creating tension in the area'. One must ask oneself how a British flag could possibly create tension on a British street!

"The above noted claims and allegations are utterly false, unsubstantiated and are fully refuted by the band.

"However, we decided to do what we felt was the right thing on this occasion and seek permission by following the correct channels with South Lanarkshire Council.

READ MORE: Glasgow roads to close as thousands set to take part in Orange Walk

"Unfortunately, the irony of the fact that this council operates and oversees the “Royal” burgh of Rutherglen, is lost on these people and they have refused us permission in our quest to decorate the area.

"In rebuffing our honest approach, they have shown contempt not only for the band but also for our local Orange Brothers and Sisters and not least our past member Graeme.

"South Lanarkshire Council should hang their heads in shame. They have shown their bigoted hatred for the colours of our country but the band will not allow it to ruin what is sure to be a spectacular weekend. You are all invited to celebrate with us. Full steam ahead Rutherglen Bluebell!"

A council spokesperson said: “I can confirm that the decision was taken to refuse this request after full consideration of all the factors involved.”

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