Thursday, 26 March 2009

Elderly couple worry over racism

Couple's fear over garbage is 'racist'

Couple's fear over garbage is 'racist'

AN elderly couple who expressed concern about mess left behind by travellers’ groups have been branded racist.

Pensioners Rita and Norman Brookhouse had been asked their opinion about plans to create a local site for gipsies in an official survey.

They filled it out, suggesting residents of the site should be charged for rubbish collection.

The stunned pair then got a letter back saying their views would not be counted because they were “offensive” and “discriminatory”.

Mr Brookhouse, 73, of Havant, Hants, yesterday branded the move “utterly ridiculous”.

He added: “They asked us for our views but they did not like them.


“This is supposed to be a democracy — we are all supposed to have a say in what happens.”

The couple’s offending submission read: “Reasonable charges must be made for use of sites so that local people know the travellers are contributing to the community finances.

“At present travellers give nothing to the community where they stay, indeed they create expense (rubbish clearance, etc, after they have departed).”

Moira Gibson, of the South East England Regional Assembly planning committee which sent out the survey, backed the decision.

She said that under the Race Relations Act they had to turn down submissions “reasonably considered to be of a discriminatory nature”.

More than ten per cent of the 1,129 responses the committee received were returned.


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