Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Friday, 13 February 2009

Scouts in St George's march row

Scouts in north Wales have sparked controversy by announcing plans for a parade on St George's Day.

Abergele scouts will celebrate their centenary by marching through the town on 23 April - the patron saint of England's national day.

The youth movement said St George was the patron saint of scouting, and the parade had nothing to do with England.

Abergele town council has written to the scouts to suggest they make that clear.

Town clerk Tina Earley said the council had written to the scouts asking them to clarify the parade was to mark the movement's centenary in Abergele.

"We don't want the scouts to remove the words St George from the parade because he's naturally their patron saint," she said.

The community needs to realise that this parade is not about England or being English
Scouts spokesman Simon Carter

Scouts spokesman Simon Carter said when their founder Lord Baden-Powell established the movement he was looking for someone who could embody a set of ideals and values.

"Scouts need to realise things that affect their community, but the community needs to realise that this parade is not about England or being English.

"It is about living up to a set of scouting ideals and values of doing your best, working through adversity, team work and getting along with people.

"St George was chosen to personify these values and give the scouts someone to look up to."

Mr Carter said St George was recognised as the patron saint of scouting by other scouts in other countries.

But Conservative Abergele councillor Sam Rowlands said the parade needed a change of focus.

He added: "We have suggested they change the focus of the parade and make it more about their scouting achievements than St George. We don't have parades on St David's Day.

"We are fully supportive of the scouts, but we think it's misleading that the parade will be on St George's Day."



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