STROUD District Councillor Liz Peters will have to attend an equality and diversity course after a complaint was made about her using a racist term.
Cllr Peters (Con, Chalford) was referring to herself when she used the term ‘the n**** in the woodpile’ while speaking to a member of the public after a licensing committee meeting at Stroud District Council.
The grandmother, 70, who has organised the Grand Village Fete at Brimscombe and Thrupp playing fields for more than 20 years, told the SNJ she used the term during a private conversation after the meeting to describe herself.
“I wasn’t speaking about her or anyone else, it just slipped out, but I obviously upset her,” said Cllr Peters.
“What has upset me more than anything is that I wrote an apology which was accepted by the complainant and I thought that was the end of it but someone has decided to go to the press.
Cllr Peters now has to attend an equality and diversity course at her own expense, which is believed to be around £150, however she doesn’t think the course addresses what she said.
“The course addresses issues such as stereotyping, labelling and prejudice however the phrase was not used to stereotype or label someone nor was it used in a prejudiced way,” added Cllr Peters.
“It was just a phrase that I used and now the situation has just gotten out of hand.”
“I know the word isn’t very nice but it is just a saying – a colloquial term that was used when I was a youngster.
“It wasn’t a personal thing.
“People blaspheme all the time. They use sayings like ‘OMG’ which I find offensive but I know that it is just a common phrase which is used by a lot of youngsters today.
“They don’t use it in a way to get at God – it’s just a saying.
“It’s just upsetting that someone has taken it to the press, it just feels like a witch hunt.”
“It was a very costly mistake and I won’t be doing it again.”
A spokesman for SDC said: “We received a complaint on this matter and raised it with Cllr Peters.
“She apologised unreservedly to the complainant, to their satisfaction, and they have subsequently withdrawn their complaint.
“Cllr Peters has also agreed to go on a course covering equality and diversity issues.”