Councillor apologies over Indian littering row

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Comments were “offensive” admits Tory

A TORY councillor who accused Indian residents of throwing rubbish out of their windows at a west London council estate has apologised for her comments.

Lucy Ivimy was accused of racism following comments she made in an e-mail sent to the housing association that runs the Woodford Court estate in Shepherds Bush, West London.

In it she said Indian residents showed “total disregard for the cleanliness of a public area” by copying the habits of those living in India where “throwing rubbish out of a window is normal behaviour”.

Her comments drew condemnation not least from residents of the estate who said it was wrong to single out any group.

In the e-mail sent to the housing association Miss Ivimy wrote: “I think we need to a) sort out some regular cleaning up of the garden and b) conduct an educational exercise to tell people not to throw stuff out of the window – particularly foreign born residents.

“I know that in India, throwing rubbish out of a window and total disregard for the cleanliness of a public area is normal behaviour and I dare say a number would change behaviour if firmly told that in London this is not acceptable behaviour.”

The estate has attempted to control the growing problem of littering.

A notice placed on the estate reads: ‘You are dirtying your own area, and affecting the enjoyment of the hall for everybody, including your neighbours.’

But Deana Maddix, chairman of the residents association said it wrong of Miss Ivimy to lay the blame on Indian families.

She said: “We don’t know who is throwing rubbish, that’s the whole point. We would never mention any race, this is all lies.”

Miss Ivimy apologised for her remarks admitting they could easily have been deemed offensive.

“This was a hastily written, ill thought out, stupid, personal email,” she said.

“On reflection of course I can see how the comments may be offensive. That was never my intention and therefore I apologise.

“My absolute priority is to improve our estates and thus improve the lives of tenants and leaseholders. I will continue to do everything I can to achieve that.”

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