Councillors warned over race terminology

Published on: 20 Dec 2017

Filton town councillors will be attending refresher courses on equalities after a heated debate on litter picking in Filton.
Councillors became angry after suggestions from members of the public and Cllr Keith Briffet that the main source of litter problems in Filton was students.
Cllr Jo Ward said she was concerned that blaming students for litter problems was being done without any evidence and that it was dangerous to make such blanket statements.
Cllr Briffet then referred to the ethnicity of a group of men he had seen dropping litter which led to Cllr Ward asking him to leave the meeting.
She said councillors should not be 'racially profiling' litter droppers.
Council chairman Darryl Collin said that while it is acceptable to use certain expressions, it was important to be careful of terminology.
But Cllr Ward said it was not about terminology but about racial profiling.
Cllr Briffet was asked to apologise and he withdrew his remark.
After the discussion, it was suggested all councillors should take a refresher course on equalities.
Cllr Briffet told Filtonvoice: "I only reported what I saw - there was nothing racial.
"This is the PC brigade making a mountain out of a molehill."
Cllr Briffet said he accepted race had no relevance regarding litter dropping.

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