Uckfield Town Council has reiterated its policy of opposing all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.
The declaration was made at a full meeting of the council on September 10 when members considered a request that it should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-semitism in full, with all of its examples.
The motion was put forward by new Labour councillor, Daniel Manvell, who was elected to North Ward in July.
He referred to the national Labour Party and the rows over anti-semitism.
He said there were Jewish families Wealden and in Uckfield and he wanted them to feel safe in the town.
Town Mayor, Cllr Spike Mayhew, said he could speak for all of Uckfield Town Council saying it was “very supportive of all groups and all protected characteristics”.
This, he said, was reflected in the council’s Equality Policy.
Cllr Diane Ward said she thought the motion was bringing party politics into town council level “which is something think we should not be doing”.
She asked if this resolution was agreed, would similar ones be needed for other faiths.
“Surely what Uckfield should be doing and I think the majority of the time it does do, is that they treat people the way they want to be treated,” she said.
Cllr Louise Eastwood said the policies the council had in place served everybody in the town, “no matter what your background is”.
“If we had reports of local issues or problems, we would take it very seriously but we haven’t,” she said.
It was a national issue she said which should be left to the “Jeremy Corbyns and we’ll look after our local issues”.
“We do have policies in place which protect everybody.”
Cllr Mick Dean said it was only one political party which had issues and problems with this issue.
“I don’t think it can be brought in at town council level,” he said.
Cllr Manvell accepted it was only one party but said it was his party and felt responsible to do something about it.
Cllr Dean added: “I don’t think it is down to you to take responsibility for what the Labour Party does at whatever level.
“We are a town council looking after the town and we do that very well, in my opinion.”
Cllr Manvell withdrew his resolution after hearing about the council’s equality policies.
Part of the town council’s Equality Policy states: Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful to discriminate against an individual on the following grounds:
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
These are known as “protected characteristics”.
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