Sheffield council apologises over report’s ‘racist’ comment

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SHEFFIELD Council has apologised over an alleged ‘racist’ comment published in a cabinet report of plans to cut childcare provision in the city.

The comment caused anger among members of the public at last week’s cabinet meeting.

During the meeting, Abtisam Mohamed, chairman of the Black and Minority Ethnic Network and Chief Executive of the Yemeni Community Association, said: “There was a racist comment included in the report. It is not relevant, and insulting.

“One of our parents cried when she read that comment.

“Since when has racism been tolerated? It is not a true reflection of Sheffield today.”

The report included a selection of quotes from questionnaire responses given by the public. Under a section entitled ‘Dissatisfaction with current services’, the comment reads: “Stop wasting money on Asian only women’s groups and Slovakian only women’s groups. There isn’t a group for white British only.”

Miss Mohamed, 32, said: “They were not an overview of all of the comments made. They were selected comments and I have an issue with that.

“What I want to know is who decided it was appropriate to put in that comment, and who signed off the report.”

Councillors were quick to show their regret that the comment had been published.

Council Leader, Coun Julie Dore said: “I agree that should not have been in there and we will remove it.”

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “I cannot believe that comment is in there. It wasn’t a racist comment in the document but it is a quote that could be interpreted as racist and I am sorry about that.”