A NEW Union Flag will adorn the outside of the Guildhall for the first time in more than 30 years.

Winchester City Council leader Martin Tod revealed the news after the Guildhall was criticised for looking 'shabby' over the Remembrance weekend. 

At the full council meeting on Thursday, November 30, Conservative group leader Cllr Caroline Horrill said: “Can the cabinet member advise why the Guildhall was in such a shabby state for the Remembrance Day events on the weekend of November 11 and 12?

“We had so many guests and dignitaries attending these important civic gatherings, so why did we not make better efforts?

“Did the cabinet member feel equally embarrassed about the appearance of the Guildhall and lack of pride in our place?”

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Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Guildhall

Cllr Horrill added: “I was delighted to be at my own village event, but I do still feel I can feed back views of others I represent in my ward. I'm disappointed Cllr Tod that you didn't see the dirty steps, the rubbish I encountered when I came onto the steps in the morning and the brass that needed polishing. Is this part of a broader approach of dumbing down the mayoralty and the interest of Winchester City Council in putting on such wonderful civic events?”

Cllr Tod said: “We're always open to take challenge especially when it comes to important matters such as our commitment to pride in place. You were reassuringly punctual in your arrival for the event on Remembrance Day and you arrived when the cleaning of the Guildhall for the main event later that day was still in progress. 

“I would like to express my thanks to contractors and council colleagues who got up two days in a row to make it ready. But it's important we're not complacent. Over the last year we have put a lot of effort into Winchester as a place. 

“There is no record among our longest-serving employees as to when they were actually bought, which tells us it was probably before 1992. 

“We have had issues as they get older that they blow around and occasionally get caught up on the pole in front of the Guildhall. 

“So for the first time in more than 30 years, we are buying brand new, heavy duty, high-quality Union Flags so hopefully we will create an even better impression for visitors to our city and at major civic events.”