Ipswich: Borough councillor loses committee chair after making ‘inappropriate’ European jibe

Richard Kirby Richard Kirby

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
3:18 PM

A councillor has been stripped of some of his duties after making an “inappropriate” comment about European families.

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According to Labour councillor Roger Fern, councillor Richard Kirby made a comment about EU residents coming to this country and having children.

The comment was made during an overview and scrutiny committee meeting, which included a discussion about a new report that said the average population of Ipswich was younger than that of many other places.

The meeting was being chaired by Conservative Kym Stroet, but the comment was taken up by council leader David Ellesmere. Mr Fern said Mr Kirby had not referred to any particular country in his comment which was a “throwaway remark.”

Mr Ellesmere said: “At a meeting of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee Cllr Kirby made some comments that he accepts were not appropriate.

“The matter has been dealt with under the Labour Group’s disciplinary processes.

“Councillor Kirby has apologised to members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the officers present and will be attending an appropriate training course in the near future.

“He has also agreed to step down as Chair of the Licencing and Regulatory Committee with immediate effect.”

Mr Kirby sent an e-mail to councillors apologising for his comments.

He said: “I made some inappropriate comments when discussing the State of Ipswich report. I have apologised to the committee members and officers present for the offence these remarks caused.

“It was not my intention to cause offence but I now realise that the words I used were very misjudged .

“I have agreed to undertake an appropriate training course and I will be stepping down as Chair of Licensing and Regulatory committee with immediate effect .

“I would like to thank you all for your support on the committee and will continue to serve as a member of it.”

13 comments

  • PC gone mad again

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    Mary Mary

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • This story tells me that a councillor has passed a remark that has upset some of his fellow councillor's, he now has to go on a coarse , for what , on how to be pc correct maybe, on this course he may be given glasses , rose coloured of course so he can see the world differently , As for this paper they have not printed what was said , So there we have it freedom of speech & freedom to print is dead , Thank you the PC brigade...

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    richard

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Truth hurts does it labour?.

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    pandy

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • By the way Royg - we are working class people! We're just ordinary everyday people who represent our residents and find politics exciting, that's all. But the Left are over sensitive about such issues.

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    Stokeparkcllr

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Should know by now can't say what you think anymore.Which is why U.K.I.P.K.I.P. are doing so well. Roll on May.....

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • Maybe he has a point? (I am not sure what his actual comment was so cannot reply to that) Since the UK joined the EC, Ipswich has deteriorated significantly, increasing more with time. Its not a linear decline as both standards and technology increases over time. Ipswich like many UK towns and cities have had a lot of migration from Europe (long before the EU) and like anyone from anywhere, migrants will settle and reproduce. Unless it was actually something really offensive and racist - the exact phrase hasn't been disclosed - of what little information given I think its largely an overreaction. --------- The common PC response to my statement is shouts of 'racism'... but non-EU citizens don't have the same rights as this, so a blanket ban in the first instance of all non-Europeans is indeed racism, if anything is. This actual debate is nothing but a politically motivated attack making a mountain out of a molehill. I don't like either Richard or David, they have done very little for Ipswich in my eyes, but there is the extent where despite them having little impact on the town they are paid great sums to represent, they should have their freedom of expression. In a similar way to parliamentary privilege that MPs have. --------------- If a remark is appalling then it should be noted in the minutes and put on official record like any other. The concept of the EC-EU is the post-War Europe attempt of competing with USA be creating a "United States of Europe"... in America the counterparts would be as offensive as they like without a care in the world about upsetting anyone, although this wouldn't be their intent. So why in Europe, do we have this political correctness gone mad, where our politicians score points over each other about whether there is the possibility that perhaps a quarter of a person from the entire country's population will be upset by it. ---------- It sounds to me that his comment* may well have been relevant to the topic and action perhaps due to clashes of personalities. I believe David wants to stand as an MP and is merely trying to score points. The rival party didn't seem bothered about such comments - which is interesting. To be shot down by your own party is awful. He doesn't have my vote.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Ellesmere please return to Planet Earth. On second thoughts, stay where you are and expound your Orwellian thoughts from afar.

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    dinosaur detective

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • No wonder UKIP are gaining popularity by the day. They are the only party voicing what BRITISH people really feel about the current out of control immigration to the UK. Little wonder the NHS, Schools, Housing are creaking under the weight ! Dick Kirby has worked conscientiously for Ipswich over many decades. Now hacked down due to 'political correctness gone mad. Whatever happened to free speech in this country ?

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    felixstoweblue

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Excuse me, are we living in North Korea? If Ellesmere is so offended by opinions that differ from his socialist Taliban like stance I suggest he takes himself off to some remote Island in the outer Hebrides where he can start his own cult. Roll on the elections!

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    Supernova6

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Discussing the State of Ipswich report..You mean people have to go on courses to discuss it properly.

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    waspie

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Political correctness gone mad.

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    PC Plod

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Is this the same Mr Ellesmere who made a "gag" about some of his fellow councillors being dyslexic. I doubt Mr Moral Highground was made to undertake an appropriate training course ?.

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    Anonymous-Suffolk

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • I have no idea what this councillor said but i am sure he meant it as a joke as most normal people have sometimes tried to make a joke that backfired. Instead of taking it as a joke because if it was that bad they would have dismissed him they have sent him on a politically correct training course which is typical council thinking. This is why a normal balanced person would not last 5 minutes working for any local council because you would have to watch everything you say in case you offended anyone. The sooner we vote these people out with their strange views and ideologies and put normal working class people in their place the better as far as i am concerned.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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