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Racially offensive term lands Stroud councillor in trouble

By Stroud Life  |  Posted: July 23, 2014

Elizabeth Peters

Elizabeth Peters

SAYING a racially offensive term landed a councillor in trouble.

Elizabeth Peters apologised to a member of the public for use of the term, just after a Stroud District Council meeting last month.

Mrs Peters, who is a Conservative member for the Chalford ward, said she has agreed to go on an equality and diversity course at her own expense.

“I’m 70 and grew up with this kind of thing,” she said. “It was just something which slipped out.

“It was not directed at anyone except myself.

“There were no foreigners around.

“I have already apologised to the two people who were upset.

“I have also gone through with what the council wanted me to do and go on an equality and diversity course. It will cost me £150 plus transport to London or Birmingham.

“It’s a really costly mistake. I think in this day and age, we are supposed to be a country of free speech. It was not directed at anyone.

“I was referring to myself as the odd one out. It was just something that slipped out. It’s not part of my everyday speech. We all use cliches.

“There are others that offend me - the devil is in the detail for example.

“No-one came to me personally - why did they go to the council?

“If they came to me I would have said sorry.

“I have nothing against people of a different race at all.

“This has been blown out of all proportion.”

A district council spokesman confirmed a complaint was made but after she apologised, it was withdrawn.

“We received a complaint on this matter and raised it with Councillor Peters,” said the council spokesman.

“She apologised unreservedly to the complainant, to their satisfaction, and they have subsequently withdrawn their complaint.

“Councillor Peters has also agreed to go on a course covering equality and diversity issues.”

Tory group leader, Keith Pearson said: “I was aware of this situation and the quote from the council sums it up adequately.

“This was an issue that was dealt with to the satisfaction of all parties at the time.”

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