A recent letter in the Shields Gazette has caused me a little bit of a problem.
On the 21st February (Thursday) Councillor Lawrence Nolan (Prog, Harton Ward) outlined the case against any further food outlets on Prince Edward Road. Here’s an extract from the letter:
“Areas within South Shields have become synonymous with being able to purchase Indian/Bengali food. Prince Edward Road in Harton now has an Indian restaurant/takeaway, Chinese takeaway, several fish and chip shops, a selection of delicatessens, all-day cafes, a few pizzeria shops and a plethora of outlets selling hot food to take away.”
Fair enough, so Mr Nolan doesn’t favour food outlets. It’s his next comment which gives rise to my concern:
“The residents of this area are sick and tired of the smells that emanate from these establishments”.
If you ask any Asian, Chinese and non European member of this regions integrated society what the main forms of racism they encounter, they invariably reply that amongst other things they are called “smelly” or that they “smell of curry” etc. Nolan’s comments are therefore ill judged, ill considered and ill thought out. Whilst he may not have intended to cause offence, he has sublimely used language akin to the insults that certain members of this regions society face on a daily basis.
I sincerely hope that this misuse of words is an isolated incident and not the start of a Progressive policy to target certain areas for certain votes. To do so will attract supporters of a particular view point that this Borough could well do with out.
Mr Nolan also comments
“The balance of amenities on Prince Edward Road is steadily being eroded and we need to stem this decline as soon as possible.”
I for one read no letters or reports in the local paper from Mr Nolan or any other Progressive objecting to either Sainsbury’s or Heron Frozen Foodstores opening new stores in the area, their presence only serving to “erode” the balance of similar amenities on Prince Edward Road, probably forcing many of them to close.