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How the council works

The council’s constitution explains

  • how the different parts of the council work together
  • how we make our decisions
  • how you can have your say

The constitution sets out the procedures which we follow to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability to local people.

Some of these processes are required by law, while others are a matter for the council to choose.


Read the latest version of the constitution as a full document or in its individual parts:

To read the current document, make sure you select the most up to date version (by month).

Council constitution

Flag flying policy Toggle accordion

This policy applies to Barking Town Hall as the council’s main administrative building. It will act as a guide, along with the plain English guide to flying flags.

Flags flown daily

The Borough Flag

Also flown at half mast to mark the death/funeral of a council employee or former employee.

The Union Flag

In accordance with guidance from the Department for Culture and Media and Sport, also flies in recognition of these occasions:

  • 9 January - birthday of The Duchess of Cambridge
  • 29 January - birthday of The Countess of Wessex
  • 6 February - Her Majesty’s accession
  • 19 February - birthday of The Duke of York
  • March (second Monday) - Commonwealth Day
  • 10 March - birthday of The Earl of Wessex
  • 21 April - birthday of Her Majesty The Queen
  • 9 May - Europe Day
  • 2 June - Coronation Day
  • 10 June - birthday of The Duke of Edinburgh
  • 17 June - official celebration of Her Majesty’s birthday
  • 21 June - birthday of The Duke of Cambridge
  • 17 July - birthday of The Duchess of Cornwall
  • 15 August - birthday of The Princess Royal
  • November (second Sunday) - Remembrance Sunday
  • 14 November - birthday of The Prince of Wales
  • 20 November - Her Majesty’s wedding day
  • the day of the opening of a session of the Houses of Parliament by Her Majesty (see note 1)
  • the day of the prorogation of a session of the Houses of Parliament by Her Majesty (see note 1)


  1. The Union Flag should be flown on this day even if Her Majesty does not perform the ceremony in person. Flags should only be flown in the greater London area.

The Union Flag flown at half mast:

  • On the death/funeral of the Sovereign, another member of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister or other dignitary - as advised by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
  • On the death/funeral of a service officer in the armed forces from the borough.
  • The death/funeral of a serving or former local member of parliament or serving or former local councillor.
  • To mark Holocaust Day on 27 January along with the flying of the Holocaust Flag.

The EU Flag

The European Union Flag also flies in recognition of European Union Day on 9 May

Flags flown at other times

Additionally the leader of the council has discretion to fly flags as appropriate at other times (for example when the national football team is playing in the World Cup).

Flags will not be flown during severe weather warning and planned maintenance.

Other flags Toggle accordion

Cross of St George Flag

On St George’s Day on 23 April

Rainbow Flag

On the Day against homophobia on 17 May, and during February for LGBT History Month.

Armed Forces Day Flag

Armed Forces Day takes place on the last Saturday of June. In 2018, it took place on Saturday 30 June. Celebrations began on Monday 25 June when the Armed Forces Day flag was raised, and flown all week.

Windrush Flag

Recognising Windrush Day on 22 June with an annual celebration to honour the history and legacy of the Windrush generation   

Remembering Srebrenica Flag

On international day of memorial for the victims of the genocide on 11 July.

Disablement Flag

On international day of persons with disabilities on 3 December.

Baby Loss Awareness Flag

On 15 October to mark International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Transgender Pride Flag

On 20 November to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance.

White Ribbon Flag

On 25 November to mark the campaign to stop male violence against woman and girls.

Donate a flag Toggle accordion

To celebrate the diversity of the borough and the heritage and identity of our residents, and to show civic pride, the council invites members of the community to organise flag raising events to mark days of significance for nations, communities and minority groups represented within the borough.

Donate a flag events are community-led and local organisers are responsible for planning and delivering the event, with some support from the council.

The council will offer use of the Town Square and Town Hall for your event and fly the chosen flag on the Town Hall flagpole for the day.

A key requirement is that the flag which will be used for the event is donated to the council by the community. The flag will then be used for future events regarding that nation, community or group.

Donate a flag guide

Anyone wishing to organise such an event should read and follow the instructions in the guide.

Donate a flag guidance (DOCX, 43 KB)

Events will only be considered if the event request form has been completed and submitted 4 weeks in advance of the proposed date of the event.

Contact the Leader’s Office for further information.

Leader’s Office

020 8724 2101