A LEADING Wyre Forest Conservative has condemned what he called an opposition councillor’s “bigoted views” after he claimed a gypsy sites in Stourport would create a ghetto and increase crime.

Leader of Independent Community and Health Concern (ICHC), Nigel Thomas, said he believed the sites chosen by Wyre Forest District Council for consultation “indicates that the people of Stourport can be treated as second class citizens.”

He added: “ICHC feel very strongly that the sites should be distributed evenly throughout Wyre Forest. We fear the failure to do so will create a ghetto and may even lead to no-go areas, with a great fear that there will be an increase in criminal activity.”

Responding, district council leader John Campion said the proposed sites were not all in Stourport. He added: “I also would condemn councillor Thomas’s suggested connection between the establishment of gypsy and traveller pitches and the level of crime. This assertion is both racist and discriminatory.

“Councillor Thomas and ICHC should recognise that we live in a tolerant and inclusive society and that their bigoted views are not acceptable.”

He explained that the council was carrying out the current consultation to ensure the community was protected from unauthorised development in the future.

Mr Thomas said: “We also believe the political correctness card is being played to prevent free speech for the general public and some opposition councillors.

“Surely, free speech comes before political correctness and should not be prevented under any circumstances.

“Those who are trying to deny free speech must have something to hide.”