When residents were asked to provide feedback on council plans to build traveller camps on their doorstep they dutifully responded.So, what did the council do?
More than 3,000 homeowners filled in forms outlining their views, many raising concerns over a possible increase in noise, traffic, rubbish and a detrimental effect on property prices.
Ignored the ones they deemed ‘racist’. And then had the nerve to write back to the people who pay for their comfortable jobs and pensions to tell them so:
Weeks after asking for residents' views earlier this year, the council posted an article on its website entitled 'Racist Comments Not Welcome'.Could there be a clearer example of just what these people think of the sheep they depend on for their livelihood?
It claimed the council's 'duty of community leadership' meant it had to crack down on the use of racial stereotypes, and revealed that while 400 responses would be considered, 3,100 were in some way racist and would be rejected.
The council even sent letters to objectors telling them their views had been deemed offensive and would not be taken account of.
The district council's attitude has been criticised by local campaigners, politicians and civil liberties groups.I don’t want them to ‘write back with an apology’. That’ll just cost more money. Instead, Pickles should be calling for the immediate sacking of the person in charge of the exercise. That’ll save money...
Tory communities spokesman Eric Pickles said yesterday: 'I hope that they write a letter of apology to everyone they have accused of being racist. Otherwise, people simply aren't going to feel able to object to these camps without the fear of being branded racist.'
As usual, the council refuses to accept it might be in the wrong here:
When contacted by the Daily Mail, a spokesman for Mid-Bedfordshire council admitted that it had been 'somewhat overzealous'.‘It wasn’t our fault! It was the legislation!’. What a pathetic excuse...
He said: 'We were worried that many of the letters contained racist slurs and objectionable comments that we felt could not be published under current race relations legislation.
'We had no intention of offending those who took the time to respond to the consultation and certainly were not trying to label residents as racist.’