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Glastonbury Town Council under scrutiny

By Bodhi_Maia  |  Posted: April 17, 2014

The Glastonbury coat of arms, in place since around 1705, includes a red shield with two crossed croziers in gold, beneath the coat-of-arms of Queen Anne and above the motto Floreat Ecclesia Anglicana – Let the Church of England Flourish

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GLASTONBURY Town Council has come under scrutiny after a meeting to discuss the future of the town’s Coat of Arms.

A year ago, Glastonbury Town Council agreed to create a working group to look into the possibility of changing Glastonbury’s Coat of Arms after it was deemed unlawful by the College of Arms.

As well as this, a survey done at the time revealed there were more than 70 faiths in the town, meaning the Coat of Arms was breaching equality legislation as it only favoured Christianity.

A member of the working group, Dan Salter, attended last week’s meeting to explain the group’s recommendations and suggested the council set up a committee to change the current Coat of Arms, leaving the council in full control.

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The majority of the council agreed that the Coat of Arms - which includes a red shield with two crossed croziers in gold, beneath the coat-of-arms of Queen Anne - needed changing.

Councillor Alyson Black said: “I would like to thank members of the working party. As the College of Arms suggest the Coat of Arms is unregistered, we need to obtain a new legal Coat of Arms.”

“We have been told it is illegal and it offends people,” added Councillor Mike Free.

Councillor Nick Cottle said he was originally sceptical but had since thought about it and was in favour of changing the Coat of Arms.

Councillor Denise Michell said: “Now we know it is unlawful isn’t it our duty to change it?”

But after this opinion was made clear, a long discussion ensued when Councillor Jim Barron suggested an amendment to “note the recommendations” instead of to “accept” them.

Mr Salter pointed out that no decisions would be made without the full approval of the committee and council therefore discussions whether to “note” or “accept” were pointless.

After much confusion over what exactly the council was voting for, the town clerk had to step in to explain.

The council finally reached a decision and the majority eventually voted to note the recommendations.

A new committee was set up to look at a new design, which each council member opted to join. Its first meeting will be held next month.

The controversy sparked correspondence to this newspaper from a working group member and a member of the public who attended the meeting.

Lyn Lovell sent a letter to the paper angry about the meeting and wondering if it was intentional.

Ishtar Dingir also sent a letter in complaining about the meeting.

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