BASILDON has “lost its pride in our county” after the council failed to raise the Essex flag and light up the A127 sign on St Cedd’s day, a furious councillor has claimed.

St Cedd’s day, which celebrates the patron saint of Essex, is often used as an educational day for children across the county.

Essex Day, held on October 26, falls annually on the feast day of St Cedd and recognises the values, history and cultural traditions of the county.

However, Basildon Council refused to raise the flag of Essex at its council buildings, the three swords, and illuminate the iconic A127 sign.


The tradition started in 2017 under former mayor David Harrison and has grown ever since.

Kerry Smith, former deputy leader, said: “This wasn’t political at all.

“The council appears not to be proud of Essex anymore.

“Raising the flag was educational.

“There was no extra cost to the council at all, all they had to do was change the colour of the bulbs on the sign.”.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, raised the flag at his office.

The flag is usually raised for three days from October 26.

In 2019, primary school children watched the flag being raised.

Mr Smith added: “If Michael Gove can do it, then why can’t we? It appears politics has got in the way of marking St Cedd’s day, which is a real shame.

“It’s about old fashioned patriotism, which we seem to have lost.”

The former deputy leader has now submitted a motion to the council for the next full council meeting.

It reads: “That the council seeks at all future St. Cedd’s Days that the formal marking of the Patron Saint of Essex is held.

“This will involve the mayor or the deputy mayor raising the flag of Essex upon the Basildon Centre and also at the flag pole at the Barleylands depot.

“That the council will also welcome measures such as illuminating the Basil-wood sign on the A127 red and gold on St Cedd’s Day too.”

Basildon Council was contacted for comment.