Group set up over racial tension claim

A TASK group set up to deal with allegations of racial tension in Kesgrave is to hold its first full meeting tomorrow .The group, made up of representatives from BT, First Buses, The Indian Association and the police, is set to discuss whether the allegations have any foundations, and if it is thought there is a problem, they will seek to solve it.

A TASK group set up to deal with allegations of racial tension in Kesgrave is to hold its first full meeting tomorrow .

The group, made up of representatives from BT, First Buses, The Indian Association and the police, is set to discuss whether the allegations have any foundations, and if it is thought there is a problem, they will seek to solve it.

There have been murmurings of discontent over the number of Asian workers using the Superoute 66 buses, which is claimed by some to have led to the buses being full and residents of Grange Farm not being able to use them.

At last night's Kesgrave Town Council meeting, John Klaschka, Suffolk County councillor for Kesgrave and Rushmere St Andrew, who is heading the task group, called for the matter to be dealt with in a “responsible way.”


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He described the link made by some between overcrowding on the number 66 bus in Kesgrave and racial tension as a “perceived link”.

He said: “We hope to resolve this issue to a speedy conclusion.”

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Mr Klaschka was told about the allegations by the Safer Neighbourhood Team about a month ago and he then took these concerns to the social inclusion team at Suffolk County Council, prompting the launch of a task group.

There will be several issues the group will be looking including the overcrowding of Superoute 66 bus, and the technical problems on Kesgrave bus way, which means extra drivers and buses may not be readily available.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Klaschka said: “Kesgrave is not a racist area. It is an educated, professional locality. To try and simplify this into one of these issues is not helpful.

“There has been enough suggestion in it to say that we have to look into this as I do not want it to become a problem. My feeling is that if we do not get a focus on this, it could become a problem.

“There are serious concerns about people not getting on the buses and people fearing loss of jobs. We have to deal with those perceptions.

“Life is very hectic and most people are under a lot of pressure. If they see a problem, they can make connections that are not justified.”

The group is set to meet regularly.

Do you live in Kesgrave and have an opinion on any of these issues? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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